Riesling Brandluft, Boeckel 2018 is no longer available

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Riesling Brandluft, Boeckel 2018

White Wine from France - Alsace
From a riesling only lieu-dit (single vineyard) in Alsace being considered for future premier cru status, this is an elegant young wine with the ripeness of the vintage, lovely balance and fine seam of acidity.
is no longer available
Code: AL15651

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • Dry
  • Riesling
  • 13% Alcohol
  • No oak influence
  • Now to 2023
  • 75cl
  • Cork, diam

Alsace

The region of Alsace lies in the rain shadow of the Vosge mountains in north-eastern France, divided from Germany by the mighty Rhine River. With the Vosge peaks protecting it from prevailing, rain laden westerlies it is one of the driest and sunniest parts of France outside of the far south and is a wonderful place to grow grapes.

However, the wines of Alsace are sadly still often misunderstood. Their Germanic names, flute-shaped bottles, reminiscent of their Rhine and Mosel counterparts, and diversity of styles have all caused confusion and doubt in the minds of those consumers unfamiliar with them. Furthermore the pursuit of quality through lower yields and later harvests has come with higher levels of sweetness in many wines, though most are dry and eminently suitable for drinking with food.

In contrast to many French regions, Alsace labels are relatively easy to read for many a modern wine drinker, showing as they do the grape variety clearly. There are some multi-grape blends too, ...
The region of Alsace lies in the rain shadow of the Vosge mountains in north-eastern France, divided from Germany by the mighty Rhine River. With the Vosge peaks protecting it from prevailing, rain laden westerlies it is one of the driest and sunniest parts of France outside of the far south and is a wonderful place to grow grapes.

However, the wines of Alsace are sadly still often misunderstood. Their Germanic names, flute-shaped bottles, reminiscent of their Rhine and Mosel counterparts, and diversity of styles have all caused confusion and doubt in the minds of those consumers unfamiliar with them. Furthermore the pursuit of quality through lower yields and later harvests has come with higher levels of sweetness in many wines, though most are dry and eminently suitable for drinking with food.

In contrast to many French regions, Alsace labels are relatively easy to read for many a modern wine drinker, showing as they do the grape variety clearly. There are some multi-grape blends too, and give or take some pinot noir production almost all the wines are white. The hierarchy of appellations is simple to understand too, with AC Vin d’Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru and AC Cremant d’Alsace for sparkling wines being all you need to know.

Vendange Tardive and Sélection des Grains Nobles are two further designations within those classifications for wines made from later-harvested grapes that are higher in sugar and wines made from grapes affected by botrytis (aka noble rot) respectively.

Grand cru wines must be made with grapes from a named vineyard site of that designation harvested at lower yields than those permitted for AC Vin d’Alsace wines. Though they are not all equal in terms of quality and many were granted such status to satisfy local political demands, many of these sites are producing some of the greatest wines of the region. There are about 50 such grand cru sites in Alsace and wines from these sites can only be made from four noble varieties – riesling, muscat, pinot gris and gewurztraminer – though the grand cru vineyards themselves can be planted with any permitted variety.

Curiously, though, it is often the producer name and brand that is considered of higher importance than cru, and some producers do not use the name of a grand cru vineyard on the labels of wines made from those sites. Different producers are known for their house styles and it is often this, and the trusted quality of their ‘brands’, that attracts the savvy drinker.

The grape varieties are varied. Gewurztraminer is a grape that divides people into those who love it and those who hate it. Highly aromatic, with scents of lychee, rose petals and spice (gewürz is the German word for spice), sometimes very dry and sometimes richly sweet, gewurztraminer from Alsace can accommodate many difficult food pairings. They include Thai and other aromatic Asian foods, ginger-infused foods, and washed rind cheeses such as Munster.

Muscat, so often made to be sweet in other regions, is nearly always bone dry in Alsace. Perfumed and grapy, muscat makes an excellent aperitif and partner to asparagus.

Pinot blanc is an excellent everyday wine, not so aromatic, clean and round and often blended with auxerrois with which it share a similarly clean scent and flavour profile.

Pinot gris produces full, rich wines, less spicy than gewurztraminer and capable of long ageing. It can be a superb match for food, particularly roast goose, smoked fish, Oriental dishes and a varied cheeseboard.

Sylvaner is now an endangered species, being superseded by other varieties. It makes lively, refreshing whites with good acidity that in the best examples can age surprisingly gracefully. It is often drunk with food in Alsace restaurants, particularly onion tart, ham, bacon and pork.

Riesling is, for many cognoscenti, the region’s greatest wine. Here it produces dry, fuller-bodied styles with more rounded acidity. Like its lighter, often sweeter German counterparts, it develops great complexity with age, taking on its distinctive petrol aroma.

The red pinot noir grape ripens easily in Alsace and more and more wines are being made, with more substance, colour and aroma than their historical forbears. Some from the best producers are showing the ability to age well.

Please see our How to Buy Alsace Guide in the Wine World & News section of our website for a more detailed feature on the Alsace region.
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Domaine Boeckel

The Boeckel family's roots have been firmly planted in the medieval Alsace village of Mittelbergheim for 400 years or so, and it was in 1853 that one Frédéric Boeckel established the family business that flourishes there to this day.

The family's 23 hectares of vineyards are overseen today by brothers Jean-Daniel and Thomas Boeckel. They follow sustainable principles, and they acquire grapes from a further 20 hectares owned by other growers who follow the same quality-conscious principles. All the fruit is hand-harvested and then sorted on arrival at the winery to ensure that only the best grapes make it into the presses.

A slow, temperature-controlled fermentation follows and the wines are then aged in large wooden casks, ranging from 10 to 140 hectolitres in volume. Some of these casks are a hundred years old and the range of sizes allows individual vineyard parcels to be vinified separately. The wines may spend a year in barrel, and often longer for particular cuvées, but the intention is not to impart oak flavour and the age of the casks in tandem with a lining of thick tartrate deposits do not allow any such flavours to emerge from the wood.

Though the winery has been modernised in recent years there remains one vestige of the past that has been retained even though it is no longer used - a 250 metre electric 'bottle train' designed and installed by the Boeckels in 1950 to transport bottles from the bottling room to the cellars for storage, and thence to the labelling...
The Boeckel family's roots have been firmly planted in the medieval Alsace village of Mittelbergheim for 400 years or so, and it was in 1853 that one Frédéric Boeckel established the family business that flourishes there to this day.

The family's 23 hectares of vineyards are overseen today by brothers Jean-Daniel and Thomas Boeckel. They follow sustainable principles, and they acquire grapes from a further 20 hectares owned by other growers who follow the same quality-conscious principles. All the fruit is hand-harvested and then sorted on arrival at the winery to ensure that only the best grapes make it into the presses.

A slow, temperature-controlled fermentation follows and the wines are then aged in large wooden casks, ranging from 10 to 140 hectolitres in volume. Some of these casks are a hundred years old and the range of sizes allows individual vineyard parcels to be vinified separately. The wines may spend a year in barrel, and often longer for particular cuvées, but the intention is not to impart oak flavour and the age of the casks in tandem with a lining of thick tartrate deposits do not allow any such flavours to emerge from the wood.

Though the winery has been modernised in recent years there remains one vestige of the past that has been retained even though it is no longer used - a 250 metre electric 'bottle train' designed and installed by the Boeckels in 1950 to transport bottles from the bottling room to the cellars for storage, and thence to the labelling room, with the minimum of effort. It is a nod to the balance between tradition and innovation that is typical of the best producers in Alsace.

They have parcels in the grands crus of Wiebelsberg, and Zotzenberg, for which Mittelbergheim is best known, and where sylvaner takes precedence over other varieties.
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Alsace Vintage 2018

An approachable and plentiful vintage, 2018 is healthy and full of fruit and will bring a lot of pleasure across the board, and across the grape spectrum. Start enjoying the village and AC wines now, and you need not wait too long for the more serious wines either.
2018 vintage reviews
2017 vintage reviews

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