De Trafford Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
Mostly from 10 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. Lightly irrigated after variason.
Yield 8 tons / hect. 25% from high altitude Mont Fleur vineyard. 4 year old vines. 8% merlot incl.
A dry, hot summer. The ripening period hot and dry, but thankfully not to many excessively hot days. The harvest was early with ripe, healthy grapes producing big wines with high alcohols.
Harvest date 23 / 2 / 98 – 3 / 3 / 98 @ 24 – 25 ° balling.
100% destemming and crushing by hand directly into 2 ton open top fermentation tanks. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ 30ºC with the cap of skins punched down 2 – 4 times a day for 12 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. 35% new French oak and 5% new American oak was used from the high quality ” Taransaud” and “Demptos” cooperages.
Time in barrels 22 months, which included several rackings to gradually clarify the wine and assist maturation development. This wine was lightly fined with egg whites ( 2 – 3 eggs per barrel ), before bottling unfiltered by hand on the property.
Bottling date : 21 / 12 / 98 Production : 700 cases.
Deep red / black colour. Inky blackcurrant fruit and spicy Christmas pudding aromas. Persistent, richly – textured palate with layers of berry fruit, tar and spicy oak. A big well structured wine with a long finish.
Probably best between 2003 and 2008. Enjoy with rich meat dishes.
Alc. 14.36 SG.2.0 TA 5.6 pH 3.74 VA 0.67 SO2 40 & 73