2015 Albert Boxler Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Brand
From the critics:
Robert Parker | 95 RP
Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RP
Vivid dark yellow. Ripe apricot and guava aromas and flavors, complemented by cinnamon and nutmeg. Enters bright and juicy, then becomes more tactile and a tad warm in the middle and on the finish, but boasts lovely precision to the orchard fruit and spicy flavors. Closes long and rich. Just like the 2014 Brand Gewürz from Boxler, this is less showy and in-your-face than Boxler’s Gewürz Reserve of the same year, but is always the deeper and more refined wine. This 2015 is a beautiful wine that is head and shoulders above the 2014. These vines are all in the Kirchthal right next to Boxler’s Pinot Gris vines, on very rich soils that are not likely to suffer water stress.
Vinous Media | 94+ VM
Wine Details for 2015 Albert Boxler Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Brand
|Type of Wine||
: Dry, refreshing, and (typically) infused with the purest form of Riesling; Alsatian whites are loved all over the globe. They will mesmerize your senses and expand your mind through their immense purity, compelling textures, and fluent terroir expression. Get immersed and fall in love with this utterly unique style of wine.
: The wines of Germany, Austria and Alsace are all too often lumped into one single category: Germany, Austria and Alsace. Whether this is due to the proximity of the winegrowing regions or the simplest way to categorize a slew of confusing wines, it does a disservice to the many wonderful and many different grape varietals that inhabit these respective locations. Not only does the terroir of each region vary, but the grapes are very much individual in their own right, unique and possess their own distinguishing qualities. One such grape, Gewurztraminer, or Gewurtz (as it is often shortened) is among this grouping, but deserves to be singled out in a positive light and examined to be fully appreciated and understood.
The Gewurztraminer grape is distinctive in many ways; one being its pink skin. Due to its pink color, the pigment remains in the wine giving it a deep golden, sometimes copper color. The variety also gets its distinctive aroma from the presence of monoterpenes (compounds found in the essential oils extracted from fruit or other plants) in the skins. The primary aromatic descriptions used to define Gewurztraminer are typically lychee, rose petal, Turkish delight, tropical fruit and perfume. On the palate, it is marked by its full texture and low acidity with flavors of stone fruits such as mango, peach and apricot and spices such as ginger and cinnamon.
Gewurztraminer is quite versatile and can be fashioned in various styles, ranging from dry to sweet, late harvested or dessert wines. Perhaps the most notable wines produced from Gewurztraminer are the labels including the designations Vendange Tardive (VT) and Selection des Grains Nobles (SGN). Vendange Tardive is a particular classification which signifies a late harvest wine with greater than usual concentration of natural sugars which is the result of the grapes having achieved a longer hang time on the vine with minimum required ripeness levels. Selection des Grains Nobles wines are rare due to the grapes being affected by Botrytis Cinerea (a beneficial fungus which attacks the grapes) or noble rot, as well as the tedious picking process. These grapes have reached even higher sugar levels due to the extreme concentration of sugars and flavors trapped in the grapes during the process of noble rot. Even some drier examples will have residual sugar in the wine in order to counterbalance the drying phenolics often found in the resulting wine. The grape is generally quite high in sugars due, in part, to its late-ripening and subsequently elevated alcohol levels can serve not only to show heat in the aftertaste, but to further highlight phenolics.
Much like Riesling, Gewurztraminer is highly reflective of the terroir in which it is cultivated. The grape reflects the nature of its soil or origin. For example, marly-limestone terroirs produce deep, rich and spicy wines with a good acidic backbone. Granite, sandstone or quartz soils can produce aromatic and elegant wines with lots of fruit, while limestone terroirs will produce full-bodied wines with strong fruit and good acidity.
The grape prefers cooler climate locations so many of the “new world” winegrowing locations do not suit the needs of the grape. There are small holdings in the Alto Adige appellation of Northern Italy, the Penedes region of Spain and cooler climate locations in southern Chile. Gewurztraminer grows extremely well in Pfalz, Germany (where it likely originated) and in the Styria and Burgenland appellations of Austria; however, one location trumps all others: Alsace, France.
While Alsace is not the ancestral home of Gewurztraminer, it is arguably its spiritual home. For it has found the perfectly attuned climate and terroir to thrive. And thrive it does… in the rich clay soils of the region, which lies between the Vosges Mountains and the French border with Germany, marked by the Rhine River. The Vosges play a vital role in defining the region’s terroir; they not only provide protection from the prevailing westerly winds, but also cast a rain shadow over the area, contributing to the low rainfall of its continental climate. The rich soil deposits are evidence of the glaciers which long ago shaped the mountains, foothills and the plains where the key viticultural areas are located. This precious terror is comprised of sandstone, granite and volcanic rock types in the foothills, clay-rich limestone and marlstone on the alluvial plains below.
The best examples of the varietal are generally regarded as being from the Grand Cru vineyards of Alsace. The VT and SGN wines from these locations are some of the finest and longest lived wines in the world. The Gewurztraminer grape is one that is often misunderstood, mistaken, or neglected entirely due to the difficulty of its spelling or pronunciation; however it is a unique and glorious gem that deserves attention and appreciation. As the great Jancis Robinson states, “…the wine world without Gewurztraminer would be a very much poorer place.”
: Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.
For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.
France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.
France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.
: This region's specific position between France and Germany has made it into a peculiar combination between them in many ways, including its mixed culture of eating and drinking. Elements of both countries can be found embroidered deep into the soul of this special place that shares their traits but doesn't entirely belong to either. When it comes to wine, a wonderful example is the use of a typically German grape Riesling, but in a very much altered style compared to the sweet wines one would normally associate with the name. The wines made here are rich, fruity, relying on lovely spikes of acidity and great texture to deliver complexity and depth without the use of oak. The sweet, elusive aromatics of peach and potpourri provide a wonderful contrast to the dryness of these famous whites, known for their superb balance and graceful poise.
There is so much spirit to Alsace's wines that one could spend months, even years drinking the same vintage and still find new levels of delicious aromas unfolding, never out of ways to enchant and always luring in, like a siren's song. Alsace offers mainly still white wines, sparkling Cremant d'Alsace, occasionally Pinot Noir-based roses and rarely reds.