DE TRAFFORD PLAN B 2014
“Plan B” is a true “second” wine – a collection of barrels we feel are not quite up to the high quality we expect for our wines, but too good to sell off in bulk.
Mostly from our Foundation Block Merlot on a lower lying site near the Mont Fleur Conference Venue. We originally planted this block in 1983, but in a wetter vintage like 2014 the wines lack concentration. Also a single barrel of 2015 to freshen up the blend.
Cabernet Sauvignon 26%
We had a good crop of Cabernet Sauvignon from neighboring Keermont vineyard and could spare 3 barrels to prop up the Merlot.
Cabernet Franc 13%
We have a vigorous section of Cabernet Franc that we usually add to our Merlot, but didn’t feel it would benefit the Merlot in this vintage.
Petit Verdot 13%
The secret ingredient to spice up the Plan B in 2014!
Mostly from neighboring Keermont vineyard, from which we make our Blueprint Syrah.
A very good, cold wet winter ensured the soil moisture supply was filled and we had even bud burst. We had cool, wet weather at the beginning of the growing season resulting in a slow start and moderate healthy growth. High rainfall in November and January meant there was no need for any irrigation. Fungal disease pressure was high in November / December, but well timed contact sprays kept the vines healthy. Bunch and berry size was a little larger than usual due to the higher rain and less wind than usual. This resulted in a little less concentrated, more delicate fresh style. Moderate temperatures and no rain over harvest meant the development of attractive fresh fruity characters. Harvest started about 2 weeks later than usual.
Plan B is produced in much the same way as the top De Trafford wines, just a barrel selection of those we don’t feel meet our high standards. Hand picking, no yeast or acid additions, low SO2, no fining or filtering are standard practices at De Trafford.
Time in mostly old 225L barrels: 19 months.
Bottling date: 11 / 11 / 15 Production: 377 x 12 x 750m?
Medium deep red colour. Attractive cherry, wild berries and herbal nose showing ripe, fresh fruit and a little spicy oak. Juicy ripe, but lively fruit on palate with some time needed for tannins to soften. Best between 2017 & 2024.
Alc. 14.79% SG. 1.8g/? TA 5.9g/? pH 3.73 VA 0.61 SO2 19free 55total