De Trafford Cabernet Franc 1999
A tiny 0.16 hectare block. Enough for just 2 – 3 barrels, which are usually blended with the Merlot. Mont Fleur vineyard – high altitude Helderberg mountain slope. 5 year old on 5 wire vertical trellis. Vine density 5000 vines / ha. Soil deep red Hutton. Lightly irrigated to relieve stress a few weeks before harvest. Yield 5.4 tons/ha.
A dry, hot summer. The ripening period was hot and dry, but thankfully not too many excessively hot days. The ripening was surprisingly slow and even with ripe, healthy grapes producing big wines with high alcohols.
Harvest date: 3 / 3 / 99 @ 25.2° balling.
Handpicking into 20kg lugboxes. Destemming and gentle crushing directly into small
1 ton open top fermentation tank. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ max. 33ºC with the cap of skins punched down manually 2 – 4 times a day for 9 days. Wine drained directly to barrels together with single pressing from traditional basket press.
All our red wine undergo malolactic fermentation in the barrel. This helps to integrate the new oak component and fix colour and flavour compounds. 30% new French oak and 70% second fill French oak was used from the high quality ‘Taransaud’ and ‘Demptos’ cooperages. Time in barrel 16 months with a racking approx. every 6 months. This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered by hand.
Bottling date : 20 / 7 / 2000. Production : 50 cases.
Deep attractive ruby red colour. A nose that really sings with individual fragrance including spices, dusty nuts, herbs and bright raspberry fruit. The palate has an elegant richness to it despite its high alcohol, surprising length and clean, refreshing finish. Surely one of the most underrated varieties at the moment. Drinking beautifully already, but will surely keep for up to 10 years. Best with medium rich meat dishes, poultry and pasta with creamy sauces.
Alc 14.54 SG. 2.1 TA 5.4 pH 3.61 VA 0.69 SO2 42 & 75