DE TRAFFORD MERLOT 2009

VINEYARD BLOCKS

 1st block 21 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 15 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 19 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 6 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 6 tons / hect. (39hl/ha)

VINTAGE CONDITIONS

 Typical cold, wet winter followed by a normal growing season with enough rain and warm weather to produce good, balanced growth. A hot, dry ripening period without excessive stress, producing concentrated wines with great structure. One of the best vintages of the decade for the patient.

A massive fire prior to harvest meant a very stressful start to the harvest, but also relief that we were spared any real damage.

Harvest date: 20 / 2 / 09 – 18 / 3 / 09 @ 23.1 – 25.7 ° 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: 19 / 11 / 10. Production : 689 x 12 x 750ml

TASTING NOTES

 Attractive dark, bright red colour. Pure dark red berry and cherry fruit with intriguing smokes nuts & spices and a little herbaceous character.  These flavours follow through on the palate with lovely fine, dry tannins and a soft, long finish.

Probably best between 2014 and 2024.

Ideal with rich baked pasta and various moderately rich red meat dishes such as lamb and veal.

ANALYSIS

 Alc.15.26    SG.1.8     TA 4.6     pH 3.67     VA 0.62    SO2  12 free 38 total

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