De Trafford Petit Verdot/Merlot 2005

This is a “once off” unique production and not part of our usual range.

VINEYARD BLOCKS

Petit Verdot 50% – 1 block 4 year old vines on 7 wire vertical trellis with moveable foliage wires. Low vigour 101-14 rootstock. On low-lying Helderberg mountain site. Medium potential gravelly red clay “hutton” soil. Yield 8 tons / hectare (52 hl/ha).

Merlot 50% – 1 block 6 year old vines on 7 wire vertical trellis with moveable roliage wires. Low vigour 101-14 rootstock. One small block on neighbouring Keermont farm. Deep red clay / loam “hutton” soil. Yield 9 tons / hectare (58 hl/ha).

VINTAGE CONDITIONS

Below average winter rain was followed by above average rainfall in spring. This allowed for good growth conditions up to flowering and was followed by hot and dry conditions during berry enlargement. 75 mm of rainfall in January (more than double our average) diluted the fruit quality of the early ripening varieties such as the Pinot Noir, but was beneficial for the later varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. These ripened in warm dry conditions and attained exceptionally high sugars and fruit concentration.

Harvest date : Petit Verdot 14 / 3 / 05 @ 26.3° B

Merlot 25 / 2 / 2005 @ 24° 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. 31 deg. with the cap of skins punched down manually 1-3 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. 10% new American oak and 15% new French oak was used from high quality coopers. Time in barrel 17 months, which included several rackings to gradually clarify the wine and assist maturation.
Bottled unfiltered by hand on the property.

Bottling date : 1/09/06. Production : 336 cases.

TASTING NOTES

The rich, concentrated but rather one dimensional Petit Verdot was blended with Merlot that was more complete and elegant with a little herbaceousness that compliments the pepperiness of the Petit Verdot.

Probably best between 2008 and 2013, but difficult to predict as there is no track record for this wine. Ideal with any red meat and sausages on a braai (barbeque).

ANALYSIS

Alc. 14.92 SG. 2.0 TA 5.6 pH 3.72 VA 0.52 SO2 34free 77total

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