Richard Bocking

The roots of the Böcking winery can be traced to the early 1600s, when the family was appointed regional treasurer under Prince Pfälz-Zweibrücken. Soon thereafter, the family became active in the budding wine production and trading business in Trarbach, purchasing what may be the oldest Riesling vineyard on the Mosel, the Trarbacher Ungsberg. The Trarbacher Schlossberg vineyard was acquired soon thereafter. Recently, Denman Zirkle and daughter Sigrid Carroll, a direct descendant of Richard Böcking, purchased the Estate from a cousin. In 2013, after almost 400 years, Böcking wines were introduced to the U.S. market for the first time. Richard Böcking has 15 acres under cultivation. The plantings are 95% Riesling and 5% Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir). Of the five vineyards: Ungsberg, Burgberg, Schlossberg, Huenerberg and Taubenhaus, four are classified as Grand Cru with own-rooted vines up to 80 years old growing on steep slate slopes of up to 60% inclines. The small vineyard parcels are cultivated individually and by hand. All vineyards are farmed as biodynamically as possible and what’s not farmed biodynamically is under organic conversion. In the cellar Böcking focused mainly on dry Rieslings. They have returned to traditional winemaking using naturally occurring yeast, old 1000 liter fuders, and introducing only the sparest amount of sulfur at bottling.

Wines

Pinot Blanc

Varietal: Pinot Blanc

Color: White

Farming Practice

Winemaker Simon Trös works with local growers surrounding Traben-Trarbach in the mid Mosel to source fruit for their Pinot Blanc. Vinified and aged in stainless steel, the Pinot Blanc embodies the terroir of the mid-Mosel: mineral-driven, bright acidity, fruit forward but dry.

Riesling (lightly off-dry)

Varietal: Riesling

Color: White

Farming Practice: Organic

Organic. Sourced entirely from their estate fruit in the Trarbacher Traubenhaus vineyard. Soil: blue, grey, and red slate. For this dry-tasting Riesling Qba, Feinherb is the closest approximation for the RS. The roughly 19 g/l balance out the high acidity and amplify the fruit while still finishing on the dry side. Vinified and aged in stainless steel.

Riesling Schlossberg (Grand Cru – Dry)

Varietal: Riesling

Color: White

Farming Practice: Biodynamic

Biodynamic. Situated high above the town of Trarbach, the Schlossberg vineyard is planted with Bocking’s oldest vines, all of which are 80 years old older and ungrafted. Bocking has owned 1.4 ha in the most prized part of this grand cru since the mid 1800s. Schlossberg sits on the slopes of the Schottbachtal, a small side valley off the Mosel behind the town of Trarbach. The exposure here faces southwest and the steep slopes reach up to 60%. The predominately gray slate in Schlossberg is quite decomposed, the composition being fine and easily broken. This gives wines with a distinctive fruit and mineral character and a delicate structure. The vines are farmed organically and now biodynamics have been introduced as well. The old vines give very low yield: 30 hl/ha in an average yield. In the cellar Simon prefers to allow a brief maceration on the skins before pressing which adds texture to the wines. Fermentation is spontaneous and the wines are both fermented and aged in very old small casks where they stay on the gross lees. The wines tend to ferment fairly dry although Bocking doesn’t force them to do so- if they stop sooner in a certain vintage that’s where they stay (the 2014 contains 9.2 g/l RA.) Wines are bottled with minimal sulfur and aged additional time before release.

Riesling Trocken ‘Devon’

Varietal: Riesling

Color: White

Farming Practice: Organic

Organic. This dry (10 g/l) Riesling mainly comes from vines in the Trarbacher Traubenhaus vineyard and partly from their grand cru vineyards. Blue, red, and grey slate (from the Devonian age, hence the name), steep slopes, hand-harvested. Fermented half in 1,000-liter Fuder casks and stainless-steel vats.

Riesling Ungsberg (Grand Cru – Dry)

Varietal: Riesling

Color: White

Farming Practice: Biodynamic

Biodynamic. Situated on slopes of 60-100% incline in the Kautenbachtal, a small side valley off the Mosel behind the town of Trarbach, Ungsberg has been cultivated continuously for over 400 years, making it one of the oldest Riesling vineyards in the Mosel. Vines here are over 40 years old and mostly ungrafted. Ungsberg’s extremely steep slope of gray, blue, and brown slate, mixed with lots quartz, allows the Riesling vines to thrive and acquire a distinctive flavor. Soils here are particularly poor which leads to unusual concentration in the resulting fruit. Ungsberg faces due south and is protected from harsh winds, allowing for morning to evening sun exposure and a long growing season. Ungsberg has an even longer history as a magical, soulful place. Its name comes from the ancient Celtic language for “hill of balm and medicinal herbs” and medicinal herbs still thrive here. A natural hot spring along the bottom edge of the vineyard has been the source of thermal bathhouses dating back to Roman times. The vines are farmed organically and now biodynamics have been introduced as well. The old vines give very low yield: 30 hl/ha in an average yield. In the cellar Simon prefers to allow a brief maceration on the skins before pressing which adds texture to the wines. Fermentation is spontaneous and the wines are both fermented and aged in very old small casks where they stay on the gross lees. The wines tend to ferment fairly dry although Bocking doesn’t force them to do so- if they stop sooner in a certain vintage that’s where they stay (the 2014 contains 9.6 g/l RA.) Wines are bottled with minimal sulfur and aged additional time before release.

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