De Trafford Merlot 2001

VINEYARD BLOCKS

1 block 13 year old vines on 4 wire vertical trellis. Clone MO 192 on 101 – 14 rootstock. On low lying Helderberg mountain site. Poor gravelly clay soil. Yield 9 tons / hect.

2nd block 7 year old vines on 5 wire vertical trellis. Mix of “new clones” on R110 & R99 rootstocks. ‘Mont Fleur’ vineyard – high altitude mountain slope. Soil deep red Hutton. Yield

9 tons / hect. Both vineyards lightly irrigated after veraison to avoid excessive stress during the critical ripening stage.

VINTAGE CONDITIONS

A dry, warm to hot summer. The ripening period was hot and dry, but with only a few excessively hot days ((over 30°C), producing ripe, healthy grapes with high sugars and balanced structure and fine, complex flavours.

Harvest date : 9 / 2 / 01 – 1 /3 / 01 @ 24.6 – 25.8° balling.

PRODUCTION

Handpicking into 20 kg lugboxes. Destemming and gentle crushing directly into small 2 ton open top fermentation tanks. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ max. 32 deg. with the cap of skins punched down manually 3- 4 times a day for 11 days. Wine drained directly to barrels together with single pressing from traditional basket press.

All our red wines undergo malolactic fermentation in the barrel. 35% new French oak and 5% new American oak was used from high quality coopers. Time in barrel 18 months, which included several rackings to gradually clarify the wine and assist maturation.

This wine was lightly fined with fresh egg whites before bottling unfiltered by hand on the property.

Bottling date : 5/9/02. Production : 878 cases.

TASTING NOTES

Dark red colour. Intense dark cherry and plum nose with a complex herbaceous (local fynbos) character. A big, intensely flavoured merlot with a classic rich, mouthfilling palate.

Probably best between 2004 & 2012. Ideal with strong flavoured grilled red meat.

ANALYSIS

Alc. 14.57 SG. 1.5 TA 5.2 pH 3.42 VA 0.62 SO2 35 & 69

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