De Trafford Merlot 2008

VINEYARD BLOCKS
1st block 20 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 14 year old vines on 7 wire vertical trellis with moveable foliage wires. Mix of “new clones” on R110 & R99 rootstocks. ‘Mont Fleur’ vineyard – high altitude mountain slope. Soil deep red Hutton. Yield 6 tons / hect. (39hl/ha).
3rd block 18 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)
4th block 5 year old vines on 7 wire vertical trellis with moveable foliage wires. Clone MO 343 on 101-14 rootstock. New addition to ‘Mont Fleur’ vineyard – similar soil. Yield 7 tons / hect. (45hl/ha)

VINTAGE CONDITIONS
Slightly above average winter rain was followed by a hot dry spring and trouble free growing season. A little rain delayed the harvest slightly with warmer nights reducing acidity. Similar to 2007, but a little softer and less intense.
Harvest date: 15 / 2 / 08 – 25 / 3 / 08 @ 23.5 – 25.8° B

PRODUCTION
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 18 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: 9 / 10 / 09. Production : 740 x 12 x 750ml

TASTING NOTES
Attractive bright red colour. Pure red berry and cherry fruit with intriguing dusty spearmint, nuts and spices. These flavours follow through on the palate with lovely fine, dry tannins and a soft, long finish.
Probably best between 2012 and 2018. Ideal with baked pasta (such as cannelloni) and various light red meat dishes such as veal and pork.

ANALYSIS
Alc. 15.18 SG. 1.6 TA 5.2 pH 3.78 VA 0.58 SO2 9free 48total

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