2018 Albert Boxler Pinot Gris
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Wine Critic Reviews for 2018 Albert Boxler Pinot Gris
This gorgeous white walks a fine line between being rich and mouthcoating on one side, and bright and graceful on the other. The result is a vivid, medium-bodied version, with hints of honeycomb and candied ginger accenting flavors of peach, papaya, elderflower and stony minerals. Drink now through 2028.
Wine Spectator | 93 WS
Wine Spectator | 93 WS
Wine Details on 2018 Albert Boxler Pinot Gris
|Region||Germany: Germany is one of those places that have the longest spanning affinity for quality wines and the most profound relationship with the art of producing it. For, in Germany, due to its northernmost position and challenging conditions, viticulture is truly a craft. Picture rivers decisively cutting through proud, soaring mountains, the clearest air you've ever breathed as you gaze upon the sun-kissed sides of these staggering giants. Right alongside the outlined edges, hundreds of small vineyards seem to defy gravity, all facing the light, soaking in whatever warmth they can get. Their position is so specific and hard to reach that all of the work around them is done manually. Every step of this noble craft is done by man, in this day in age where the automatised industry has taken over. The sweet, fruity, wonderfully fragrant white wines are as crisp, acidic and elegant as one would imagine upon visiting their birthplace. Mostly made from Riesling, these magnificent elixirs perfectly illustrate the hard work, dedication and intimacy cultivated at these miraculous sites. |
More recently developed but equally as valued in Germany are the Pinot Noir-based reds, some of the most sophisticated and well-balanced wines one could taste. A taste of German winemaking should be found bottled and stored inside any sommelier's cellar.
|Country||Germany: While the combined surface of Germany's vineyards equals out to one-tenth of Spain's, it is listed as the world's eighth-largest wine producer in the world. Most German wines revolve around either Riesling or Pinot Noir, and as is often the case in similar scenarios, these grape varietals are brought to their fullest potential. Riesling fans rejoice, as the quality of German whites is nothing short of heavenly. Whether you prefer a dryer or sweeter white, you can find an oasis or two among Germany's reputable producers. There's no better way to spend your summer than with a classic German wine or two.|
|Type of Wine||German White: German Riesling, grown along the Rhine, is one of the most famous white grape varieties worldwide. Winemakers rarely blend this highly acidic varietal with other grapes. A bit behind Riesling, Muller-Thurgau is another popular varietal in Germany, obtained from a crossing of Riesling and Silvaner. Silvaner is the third-most cultivated white varietal in Germany.|
|Varietal||Pinot Gris: One of the most fascinating aspects of wine grapes is their ability to grow in different regions, countries and continents and be distinctly recognizable by the terroir in which they reside. Not all grape varieties have this luxury, but the Pinot Gris grape is somewhat of an anomaly; from its coloration to its adaptability, to its origin and its terroir reflective qualities. The varietal, which originated in Burgundy, France is now grown all over the world, having had successful resulting wines, many of which have their own unique style and flavor. |
The Pinot Gris grape varietal hails from the noble Pinot family, being a mutation of the legendary Pinot Noir grape. The grape, itself, is peculiar as it ranges in color from gray-tinged pink to blue (“gris” meaning “gray” in French). Unlike most white grapes, such as Pinot Blanc and Riesling, Pinot Gris actually looks more like a red wine grape.
Pinot Gris is early ripening and thrives in cool climates such as Alsace in France, Baden in Germany (where it is commonly-known as Grauburgunder) and Alto Adige and Veneto in northeastern Italy (where it is called Pinot Grigio). Its ability to reflect terroir is astounding and no doubt a trait it shares with Pinot Noir (though Pinot Noir is a more fussy grape and less able to adapt to warmer climes). It is highly adaptable to a range of terroirs, including the volcanic hillside soils of Alsace, to the diverse soils of Baden, Germany such as loem, loess, granite, clay, limestone and sand. Pinot Gris also feels right at home in Alto Adige, where the ancient sea bed provides an array of soil types such as clay, chalk deposits and over 150 different rock types which also helps to shape the hilly terrain and mineral rich terroir.
Pinot Gris can be vinified in several different styles, each with its own flavor profile. Compared to other French whites, Pinot Gris tends to be less aromatic than Sauvignon Blanc and drier than Chardonnay. The typical Pinot Gris is full-bodied with a fresh, spicy flavor and notes of tropical fruit, stone fruit, or citrus; with riper grapes being less acidic. Although the majority of Pinot Gris produced in France is fashioned in this style, a small amount of prized Alsace Pinot Gris is produced in a sweet dessert styled wine, labeled under the title, Vendage Tardive or VT (meaning late harvest). These prized grapes are the result of Botrytis or Noble Rot, which is a beneficial fungus which attacks the grape, shriveling it to a raisin-like state, locking in heavenly high sugars and flavors. These wines are more age worthy and highly sought after.
Italian Pinot Gris (Grigio) wines are light-bodied and crisp, with a flavor profile of pear, green apple and stone fruit, with floral aromas such as honeysuckle. The Italian vinification process begins with an early harvest in an attempt to retain the grape’s naturally high and fresh acidity. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks also helps to retain the grape’s “zing.” If barrels were used for fermentation, it would add palate weight and sweet vanilla aromas. The “everyday” Italian Pinot Gris (Grigio) is fashioned in the former which results in a clean, fresh and simple style at a lower monetary value. This is one of the more popular styles and is voraciously purchased on the US market.
The German name for Pinot Gris is Grauburgunder (which translates to “Grey Burgundian”). It is widely cultivated in the regions of Baden, Rheinhesseh and Pfalz, where the styling is more mineral-driven (compliments of the regions’ mineral rich terroir) and has a higher level of acidity. Floral aromas and citrusy flavors come through beautifully; the wines are often tinged with exotic spice notes. Of course, not only is Pinot Gris highly influenced by terroir, but also winemaker which is evident in the Baden locale, where producers focus on richer, fuller-bodied, often sweeter and more fragrant wines.
The versatility of the Pinot Gris grape is incredibly impressive. Its reflective nature has allowed the variety to prosper around the world; whether it is the crisp and clean everyday drinking Pinot Grigio from Italy, Grauburgunder cultivated from the rocky terroir of Germany or the lusciously sweet dessert Pinot Gris from the mountainous region of Alsace. Pinot Gris has become one of the most important grape varieties for cool climate vintners and produces some of the most frequently purchased wines in the world.
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