De Trafford Cabernet Sauvignon 1996

VINEYARD BLOCK

Mostly from 8 year old vines on 4 wire vertical trellis. Clone CS 46A on 101-14 rootstock. Soil gravelly red Hutton type. On low lying Helderberg mountain site. No irrigation necessary in 1996. Yield 7 tons / hect.
We have sourced grapes from several other vineyards in the area, but this block consistently produces the best results. 10% merlot incl

VINTAGE CONDITIONS

A fairly difficult vintage with above average rain during the growing period. The late ripening Cab. S. was less affected by the scattered rain during harvest than most other varieties. The fruit was picked fully ripe in beautiful condition with lots of colour, flavour and suppleness.

Harvest date : 8 / 3 / 96 – 21 / 3 / 96 @ 21.1 – 24.2° Balling.

PRODUCTION

100% destemming and crushing by hand directly into small open top stainless steel fermentation tanks. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ 30 degrees celsius with the cap of skins punched down 3 times a day for approx. 10 days. Aim was to extract max. colour, flavour and tannins without undue harshness. Wine drained directly to barrels together with single pressing from traditional basket press.

All wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in the barrel. This helps integrate the new oak component and fix colour and flavour compounds. 30% new French oak and 5 % new American oak was used from the high quality ‘Taransaud’ and ‘ Demptos’ cooperages. Time in barrel 19 months, which included several rackings to gradually clarify the wine and assist maturation development. Only the best barrels are chosen for the Cab.S. – the cellar’s flagship wine.

This wine was lightly fined with egg whites ( 3 eggs per barrel ), before bottling unfiltered by hand on the property.

Bottling date : 11 / 11 / 97.

TASTING NOTES

Dense, with purple tint. Intense, creamy blackberry and ( May 1998 ) Christmas pudding aromas. Rich, sweetish berry fruit and spicy oak palate. Fine, firm structure and long finish.

Probably best between 1999 and 2005. Enjoy with rich, but finely flavoured dishes such as roasted or pan fried red and white meats with rich, creamy sauces.

ANALYSIS

Alc. 13.17   Sugar 1.5   TA 5.4   pH 3.78   VA 0.51   SO2 27 & 34

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