De Trafford Elevation “393” 2004


This blended wine best reflects our magnificent vineyard site high up on the eastern slopes of the Helderberg mountain. Soil deep red decomposed granite – Hutton type. The vines are close planted ( 5000 to 7500 vines / hect.) The best barrels were selected for this reserve wine:

Cabernet Sauvignon 60%
10 yr old vines on 7 wire vertical trellis. Clones CS337; CS359; CS27: CS46A; CS1A; CS163 all on 101-14 rootstock.
Merlot 27%
10 yr old vines on 7 wire vertical trellis. Clone MO181 on R99 rootstock
Shiraz 13%
9 yr old vines on 7 wire vertical trellis. Clones SH21A; SH1A; SH99 all on 101-14 rootstock


The spring was cool and late with good, even budburst. We had a few very hot days in early January, but generally the ripening season was relatively cool and dry and nearly 2 weeks later than usual. A light irrigation at veraison ensured the grapes ripened without too much stress. An unusual phenomenon in 2004 was the occurrence of some unripe berries within some of the bunches, which we had to painstakingly remove prior to crushing.

Harvest date : 1 / 3 / 04 – 22 / 3 / 04


Handpicking into 20 kg lugboxes. 100% destemming and gentle crushing directly into open top fermenters. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ max. temp. 29°C – 31°C. Time on skins 12 – 15 days, with cap of skins punched down (pigeage) 1 – 4 times a day. Wine drained directly to barrels together with single pressing from traditional basket press.

All our red wines undergo malolactic fermentation in the barrel. This helps to integrate the new oak and fix colour and flavour compounds. Mostly new French oak used. Time in barrel 20 months, which included several rackings to gradually clarify the wine and assist maturation.

This wine was bottled by hand, unfined and unfiltered, on the property.

Bottling date : 15 / 12 / 05.  Production : 710 x 750ml x 6 (packed in wooden boxes)


Impressive deep red / purple colour. Smoky blackcurrant and spicy fruitcake aromas. Already well knit structure with dense tannins and rich, complex fruit.

Probably best between 2008 and 2015. Low sulphites – could qualify for an organic wine. Ideal with rich, roasted or grilled red meat dishes.


Alc. 14.56 SG. 3.3 TA 5.5 pH 3.49 VA 0.82 SO2 24 & 56

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