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Muscat on a hot tin roof

Boxler 2012 Muscat (Alsace) — Surprisingly reticent for a muscat, taking what used to be a fairly common alternative Alsatian expression of “extremely floral riesling” more seriously than most. (10/16

Brand identification

Boxler 2009 Riesling Brand (Alsace) – A little sweet, a lot heavy, a fair bit alcoholic. There’s still plenty of honeyed minerality and bronzed musculature, with the stone fruit and gold of the site evident, but it’s just too boozy for my taste, and I’m not sure this is a quality one will want to live with for long. I’d say I was surprised by this result, but a legendarily hot vineyard in a big year…unfortunately, I’m not surprised at all. Dismayed because of what it portends for globally-warmed Alsace. Disappointed that this came from an extremely reliable producer. But not surprised. (4/11)

By his trade

Boxler 2008 Edelzwicker “Réserve” (Alsace) – Boxler gets this blend so, so right each and every time, letting all the grapes play their part without dominating (as is the case with virtually every other edelzwicker, even the good ones), which just goes to demonstrate the point that sometimes, it really is about the winemaking. Gentle fruit, light-washed and hovering somewhere between stone, whitened, and sepia, recedes as gently as noontide. A lovely wine. (7/12)

And a riesling by his trade

Boxler 1996 Riesling Sommerberg “L31E” (Alsace) – Bracing. Gorgeously semi-mature, its metals golden and its acids rounder but still crystal-clear as they pierce the wine’s heart. What residual sugar there once might have been (I no longer recall the wine in its youth) is now no more than a slightly clouded polish on the shiny core, though it would be difficult to say that the wine presents as “dry”…its aspect is too lavish for that. (11/11)


Boxler 2009 Riesling Sommerberg “L31V” (Alsace) – Tasted next to a Trimbach CFE, this tastes lavish. Of course, it’s the more restrained of Boxler’s two crus, though there’s plenty of difference between the different coded bottlings from each site, and this is a full-throated, powerful expression from a year that emphasizes both, everything ripe and very nearly explosive. It’s frankly huge for a Boxler Sommerberg of any sub-designation, with a fair bit of residual sugar, and though the trademark house balance is here, it’s just barely here. I think everything will turn out rather better than alright in the distant day of this wine’s full maturity, but it’s going to be someone needed an occasional check-in. (1/12)

…and some are sheim

Boxler 2004 Riesling Sommerberg “Vendanges Tardives” (Alsace) – A bit closed, which here means that it’s showing more riesling and late harvesting than Sommerberg at the moment. It is, like most Boxler Sommerbergs, poised and confident, but I think it needs a whole lot more time before it’s ready to strut. (8/11)

Window syl

Boxler 2007 Sylvaner (Alsace) – This is one of the great inexpensive wines of the world. Except, admittedly in my pricey little corner of the U.S., it’s $24. Thank you ever so, Mr. Importer, and I do hope you’ll be enjoying your retirement soonish. In Alsace, they’re still giving it away vis-à-vis its quality, and while it’s not one of the Great Sylvaners™ of Alsace (nor is it intended to be), it absolutely shows every bit of the grossly ignored potential of this grape on the right sites and with the right care. Tomato leaf, density with antigravitic levitation, mineral salts, a thin-wedge thrust of power without overwhelming force, and behind it all a hidden sense of whimsy. Dark green vegetables, one of the persistent banes of wine matching, find one of their infrequent but overwhelmingly passionate love affairs here. (6/11)

Cardboard Boxler

Boxler 2004 Riesling “Réserve” (Alsace) – The Chadderdon-imported domestic (U.S.) bottling that carries no letter indicator, and thus I have no idea of what it’s actually made, other than riesling. Of which it tastes. Clean, crisp, minerally, and kinda foursquare. The least interesting bottle from Boxler I’ve ever experienced, but given the producer that’s still a pretty tasty quaff. There’s much better out there, however. Maybe an unrepresentative bottle? (12/10)


Boxler 2007 Pinot Blanc (Alsace) – Spiky and disjointed, the acid/fruit/sugar combo completely skewed towards chaos. Not much spice, a lot of eroded minerality, and a powerfully imbalancing alcoholic heat that eventually overwhelms the wine. Here’s something I didn’t think was possible: a Boxler wine by which I’m actively repelled. This could come from Carneros, or somewhere hotter. (5/10)

Wade Boxler

Boxler 2005 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – Rich, ripe, but not heavy, leaning more strongly on peaches than lychees, with layers of crystalline spice underneath. Just structured enough, though it’s on the thick side of the norm for this wine. (NB: This is the Chadderdon bottling, carrying no label code…though I don’t think there’s a differentiator for the gewurztraminer even on the French side of things.) (3/10)

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