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  • March 13, 2014
  • Richard Böcking 2012 Trarbacher Burgberg Alte Reben

  • by Lars Carlberg

burgberg_richard_boeckingLast Sunday, I visited Leweke von Marschall, the owner of the once famous Richard Böcking estate in Traben-Trarbach. She took me to the first-rate vineyards of Trarbacher Ungsberg and Hühnerberg in the beautiful side valley of Kautenbach. For those familiar with these top sites should know about the wines from Olaf Schneider's Weingut O. and Martin Müllen, too.

Later on, Frau von Marschall and I tasted the 2012s with her cellarmaster and vineyard manager, Simon Trös, at the estate. This is an impressive debut vintage and an estate to keep an eye on. Simon vinifies the wines in a cellar located downriver in the village of Burg.

One of my favorites of the tasting was the 2012 Trarbacher Burgberg Riesling Alte Reben, or "old vines."

To be exact, this wine comes from 40-to-75-year-old vines in the now forgotten, but highly rated site of Burgberg, where they harvested the grapes just before the frost on November 1. The grape must fermented spontaneously in two 300-liter oak barrels at just under 10 grams of sugar, and it has 12 percent alcohol. Though Simon does an extended skin contact in an old spindle press after crushing the grapes, the wine isn't opulent. The maceration gives it a slightly richer color and texture, though. It's a matter of personal taste. I tend to prefer bright, clear flavors from direct pressing or shorter time on the grape skins.

In addition, the smaller barrels, which were used for white wines over several years, impart a subtle oak flavor. But I actually like it for this wine. The slight oak reminds me a little of certain wines from Immich-Batterieberg made by Gernot Kollmann.

Simon says, "Burgberg has predominantly blue and gray slate, with some quartz crystals." It's a west-facing site located high up near the Grevenburg Castle ruin, which, in the 14th century, was a seat of the Counts of Sponheim. In fact, Burgberg, which was once a part of the Schlossberg vineyard, is close to the former medieval city walls of Trarbach. ♦