2016 Domaine Boeckel, Riesling, Alsace, France.
Frédéric Boeckel became a wine trader in 1853, after his family were generations of butchers in the Alsace region of France, and it was his son Emile that turned the Boeckels into winegrowers, it was then their history was cemented, they are world renown for their classic wines. The Boeckels, Emile and his much younger brother Andre, in 1950 they bought the parcels in the area known as “Wiebelsberg” in the commune of Andlau, and it is from theses vines that Boeckel produces their masterpiece Grand Cru Riesling Wiebelsberg, a wine of great finesse. Today Boeckel is led by the brothers, Jean-Daniel and Thomas Boeckel – the 5th generation of winemakers in the family, they have seen the modernization of the cellars and the conversation to all organic farming, crafting wines that are both rich in texture and full of vibrant energy. The Boeckel Riesling AOC Vin d’Alsace is fermented in temp controlled vats and aged in large ancient oak foudres allowing for a smooth feeling richly flavored terroir driven wine, coming off the pure and classic calcareous soils of the Mittelbergheim area. 2016 was a top year for Alsace and it’s a vintage to search out for it’s texture, density and dry focus, it can stand up to a wide variety of cuisine from savory meat dishes to semi spicy Indian fare including curries. 2016 was a very good and pure vintage in Alsace, and this Boeckel shows it’s ripe and expressive flavors, but in a delicate fashion with a clear and easy personality giving bright citrus, stone fruit and mineral notes with layers of apricot, lime and white peach along with soft acidity and a light almost weightless texture. It is a very refined and stylish dry Riesling with a vibrantly fresh core as well as faint spice, wet rocks and subtle tropical perfume. Boeckel’s base cuvee is crisply focused which makes for nice expression of the region and it’s very lovely throughout, if not overly exciting, it’s a wine that shines more with food than it does on it’s own, it’s more reserved form hides it’s friendly drinkability and classic profile. This Boeckel offers a solid performance and is a good value, in league with entry level offerings by Kuentz Bas, Trimbach, Hugel and Pfister, drink this smooth Riesling over the next 3 to 5 years, best with Bistro cuisine or with fruit, cured ham and cheeses at a lazy picnic.
($18 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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