Albert Boxler, Pinot blanc, AOC/AOP Alsace, Niedermorschwihr, Haut-Rhin, France, 2003
Pinot blanc – a comment, collated and edited from various sources … at its best it produces medium, tending to full-bodied, crisp (medium (+) to high acidity) dry whites with hints of citrus, apple, pear, melon, stone fruit, floral notes and honey. Normally it is unoaked. With age it takes on honeyed notes.
In Alsace, pinot blanc is not considered a noble variety, lacking the aromatic qualities of the 4 nobles – riesling, gewurztraminer, pinot gris and muscat (muscat blanc a petit grains) precluding its use in grand cru or late harvest wines. It is the workhorse variety of Alsace, mainly used in edelzwicker – blends, and crémant. The main growing area is on the Plain of Alsace.
It is important to understand that in Alsace, pinot blanc is the common term for white wine produced from pinot blanc, auxerrois, pinot gris and pinot noir, in any proportions. Apparently, one is most sure to get a pure pinot blanc if the label states clevner or klevner (not klevener), which are pseudonyms for pinot blanc.
Many wines labelled pinot blanc, but without that variety present, are abundant, many are 100% auxerrois; further examples includes Marcel Deiss of Bergheim who markets a pinot blanc that is made out of auxerrois, pinot gris and pinot noir, boosted by some surmaturation and without a trace of pinot blanc itself. Many are blends with auxerrois, e.g. Schlumberger make one with 30% pinot blanc and 70% auxerrois
This wine: lot No. L20B, varietal pinot blanc, natural cork, flat bottomed bottle, 12.5% abv, Gauntleys, bin end £10 (was £19.80)
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, pale intensity lemon, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas of lemon zest, lemon flesh, white grapefruit flesh, a hint of lime, cut green apple, spice and anise, developing within a few minutes a lightly honeyed note, with hints of stewed peach and unripe pineapple.
Palate: a (just) off-dry wine, with medium (+) acidity, a low-key gummy grip, medium alcohol and a medium (+) body, a smooth almost oily texture, medium intensity, with flavours of lime jelly, apricot, yellow peach, with underpinning ripe grapefruit. A medium (+) length, with a clean citrussy finish and a very light gummy grip.
Quality: a very good quality wine, with fresh acidity balancing alcohol and rich body. Of modest intensity on the mid-palate following through on the decent but not outstanding length, nevertheless with interesting complexity and good fruit concentration, and starting to show tertiary development with spicy and anise notes.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: ready to drink now, this wine has fruit, balance and structure, backed up by early indications of tertiary development, to suggest further development and improvement over 3-5 years.