DE TRAFFORD MERLOT 2010

VINEYARD BLOCKS
1st block 22 year old vines on vertical trellis. 1 ha parcel we’ve used since 1992. Clone MO 192 on 101 – 14 rootstock. On low lying Helderberg mountain site. Poor gravelly clay soil. Yield 3 tons / hect. (22hl/ha).

2nd block 16 year old vines on vertical trellis. Mix of “new clones” on R110 & R99 rootstocks. ‘Mont Fleur’ vineyard – high altitude mountain slope. Soil deep red Hutton, decomposed granite. Yield 3 tons / hect. (22hl/ha).

3rd block 7 year old vines on vertical trellis. Clone MO 343 on 101-14 rootstock. New addition to ‘Mont Fleur’ vineyard – similar soil.
Yield 6 tons / hect. (39hl/ha)

4th block 4 year old vines on 5 wire vertical trellis. Clone MO348 on 101-14 rootstock. “Keermont” vineyard – high altitude mountain slope. Soil similar to Mont Fleur, heavier clay component. Yield 1 ton / hect. (8hl/ha)

12% Cabernet Franc from home, Mont Fleur, vineyard.

VINTAGE CONDITIONS
A cool, overcast, rainy spring led to poor fruit set and smaller, looser bunches. Very strong winds during flowering dramatically reduced the size of the crop as well as causing some physical damage. The small crop contributed to faster ripening with very ripe grapes of great intensity. A hot, dry harvest, but all of our Merlot was picked before the mid-March heat wave.
Harvest date: 19 / 2 / 10 – 10 / 3 / 10 @ 23.5 – 25° 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 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: 10 / 11 / 11. Production: 588 x 12 x 750ml

TASTING NOTES
Attractive dark, bright red colour. Pure dark red berry and cherry fruit with intriguing 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 2015 and 2024.
Ideal with lamb and other moderately rich red meat dishes, as well as rich baked pasta.

ANALYSIS
Alc.15.20 SG.2.0 TA 5.1 pH 3.57 VA 0.86 SO2 5 free 30 total

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