Domaine Leon Boesch

The Domaine Leon Boesch is located in Westhalten, Alsace at the foot of the Petit Ballon Mountain. Matthieu and Marie Boesch are running the family domain in the 11th generation. Originally the wines were crafted in Soultzmatt which is not far from Westhalten. In 1996 the storage and production of the wine moved from Soultzmatt to Westhalten. A new wood structure building and cellar were constructed using chalk stones providing a cellar with perfect bioclimate in 2010.

The Domaine

It`s a family-owned winery since the mid-17th century. The vineyards are located on the hillsides on either side of the valley at an altitude of up to 450 meters. The Petit and Grand Ballon mountains protect the valley from extreme weather allowing at the same time updrafts. These winds provide a perfect Mediterranean like microclimate to cultivate wine. The Petit and Grand Ballon mountains which protect the valley also invite to a nice hike.

The domaine covers an area of 14,5 hectares. The total surface is split into several small plots which emphasize the different terroirs in the valley and the hillsides. The vineyards are on an area where due to a mosaic fault sandstone, shale, slate, and marl are found. It creates an incredibly diverse patchwork of soil types. Each wine of the Domaine Leon Boesch reflects the terroir where it grew.

Demeter bio quality

In 1999 Matthieu Boesch takes over the Domaine from his father and converts it stepwise from normal to biodynamic production. The vineyards are plowed and are treated with Bordeaux mixture, sulfur, clays, herbal teas and plant preparations. which is is in accordance with the Demeter Charter of Organic and Biodynamic Agriculture.

Vinification

The grapes are picked manually. Once they`re harvested the grapes are pressed for 8-12 hours to extract a maximum of aroma and ingredients. The production of the wine follows the gravitational principle. Once the grape juice is extracted it flows to the cellar where it slowly ferments with its own yeasts. The grapes are submitted to malolactic fermentation which is initiated by the yeasts on the skins of the grapes. The white wines ferment in large oak barrels and the red wines in oak barrels. A small amount of sulfur is added before bottling to preserve the wine. It`s the only ingredient which is added to the wine.

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The Wines

The wines produced at the Domaine Leon Boesch are all extremely dry wines.  Based on the philosophy of the Boesch family dry wines are more suitable to underline the terroir of their wines and for food pairing. The family grows Riesling, Pinot Gris and Muscat on Grand Cru plots but downgrades them very often as only the Gewürztraminer grape regularly meets their quality standards of a Grand Cru wine.  Their flagship wine is the dry Gewürztraminer “Zinnkoepfle” which is very unusual for a Gewürztraminer wine but it turned into a big success. All wines are certified organic (Ecocert) and biodynamic (Demeter).

They also produce two sparkling wines (Cremant d`Alsace). They`re cuvees of Pinot blanc, Riesling and Pinot Noir. The Cremant d`Alsace sparkling wines are a good choice as an aperitif or you can pair them with local dishes like a choucroute (soixante douze, 72) or crayfish (Zero).

The two red wines of the Domaine Leon Boesch are Pinot Noir wines. They`re fermented in old oak barrels therefore giving them only a slight oak note. The “les Jardins” (the gardens) is a good match to a charcuterie plate or just as an aperitif drink. The “Luss” Pinot Noir is a fleshy wine which you can match with roast beef or beef bourguignon.

The wines are available at the Domaine Leon Boesch or at your wine store.

Conclusion

The Domaine Leon Boesch is a family run winemaker in the 11th generation. They focus on white wines with Gewürztraminer being their flagship wine. They also produce 2 red and sparkling wines. The Boesch family produces all wines with a high focus on quality and respect to nature and the product. – Enjoy !

Christina Day
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