Albert Boxler, Pinot blanc B (B stands for the sheltered south-east facing Brand Grand Cru vineyard), AOC/AOP Alsace, Niedermorschwihr, Haut-Rhin, France, 2005.
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: varietal pinot blanc, natural cork, flat bottomed bottle, 13% abv, Gauntleys, £20
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, pale intensity lemon, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, pronounced intensity, developing, with flavours of warm lime, lemon pith, grapefruit, ripe green dessert apple, a whiff of warmer apricot, a rich floral note, warm light honey, with a hint of butter and an indistinct nutty nuance.
Palate: an off-dry wine, medium acidity, a low-key grip from short maceration on the skins or maturation in old or large oak, medium (+) alcohol and a medium body, with medium (+) intensity, a smooth velvety texture, with a seemingly sweet mid-palate with flavours of sweet lime, apricot, stewed apple, ripe galia melon, pineapple skin and honey. A long length with a clean stone fruit underlain by limy citrus finish and a light grip, and the slightest bitterness on the end.
Quality: a very good quality wine, with *just balanced acidity with alcohol and just off-dry low-level residual sugar. An intense richly flavoured wine, opening with citrus aromas followed by warmer stone fruit and tropical nuances, with good flavour concentration, following through to a long length, showing some complexity with tertiary honeyed and nutty notes.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: ready to drink now, this wine has the acidic structure, intensity, concentration and emerging signs of complexity, to suggest improvement over 2-3 years further cellaring.
*I cannot find the reference a second time, but I remember finding that the 2005 had total acidity of 6.1 g/l as opposed to the 7-8+ g/l in vintages either side.