De Trafford Merlot 2006
1 block ( Helderberg ) 18 year old vines on 7 wire vertical trellis with moveable foliage wires. Clone MO 192 on 101 – 14 rootstock. On low lying Helderberg mountain site. Poor gravelly clay soil. Yield 4 tons / hect. (29hl/ha).
2nd block ( Mont Fleur ) 12 year old vines on 7 wire vertical trellis with moveable foliage wires. Mix of “new clones” on R110 & R99 rootstocks. High altitude mountain slope. Soil deep red Hutton. Yield 6 tons / hect. (39hl/ha).
3rd block ( Keermont ) 16 year old vines on 5 wire vertical trellis with moveable foliage wires. Clone MO192 on R99 rootstock. “Keermont” vineyard – high altitude mountain slope. Soil deep gravelly Hutton. Yield 4 tons / hect. (29hl/ha)
Slightly above average winter rain was followed by a hot and dry spring and trouble-free growing season. A little rain delayed harvest slightly, but refreshed the struggling vines. The small berries and moderate ripening period produced concentrated grapes with lots of flavour and sugar.
Harvest date : 14 / 2 / 06 – 15 / 3 / 06 @ 24 – 24.8° B
Handpicking into 20 kg lugboxes. Destemming and gentle crushing directly into small 2 ton open top fermentation tanks. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ max. 30°C with the cap of skins punched down manually 1-3 times a day for 10 – 14 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 was used from high quality coopers. Time in barrel 19 months, which included several rackings to gradually clarify the wine and assist maturation.
The wine was bottled unfiltered by hand on the property.
Bottling date : 14 / 11 / 07. Production : 590 x 12 x 750ml; 50 x 3L.
Attractive deep red colour. Rich red berry and cherry fruit with beguiling savoury earthiness, nuts and spices. These flavours follow through on the palate with plenty of fine tannins and a classic long, dry finish.
Probably best between 2009 and 2015. Ideal with rich pasta and various meat dishes.
ALC. 14.65 % vol SUGAR: 2.4 TA: 6.0 pH: 3.44 VA 0.59 SO2 24free 58total
— Ben Tucker (@Casedinamber) October 26, 2014