De Trafford Shiraz 2002
Mostly from one block 7 yr old vines on 7 wire vertical trellis with moveable foliage wires. Clones SH21A; SH1A & SH99 all on 101.14 rootstock. 5000 vines / hect. “Mont Fleur” vineyard – high altitude Helderberg mountain NW facing slope. Steeply sloping site with rocky, granitic based Hutton soil. No irrigation necessary in 2002. Yield 5,5 tons / hect.
A small quantity of grapes from the neighbouring Keermont vineyard included from a N.E. facing block. 4 yr old vines on 5 wire vertical trellis, clone SH9 on 101.14 rootstock. Soil deep red Hutton. Yield 1 ton / hect.
The growing season was particularly difficult, with early season mildew problems, though our Shiraz vineyard escaped with the least damage. 150 mm rain fell mid-January which at first seemed disastrous, but probably due to the steep slope and high run-off, didn’t seem to adversely affect the ripening process.
Harvest date : 27 / 2 / 02 – 9 / 3 / 02 @ 25.4° Balling.
Handpicking into 20 kg lugboxes. Destemming and gentle crushing directly into small 2 ton open top fermentation tanks. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ max. 32 deg. with the cap of skins punched down manually 2 – 4 times a day for 11 days. Wine drained directly to barrels together with single pressing from traditional basket press.
All our red wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in the barrel. This helps to integrate the new oak component and fix colour and flavour compounds. 35% new French oak and 15 % new American oak was used. Time in barrel 21 months with only a single racking. This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered by hand.
Bottling date : 19 / 12 / 2003. Production : 200 cases.
Incredibly dark red colour. Intense blueberry and spicy white pepper nose. Big mouthfilling palate with lots of fruit and rich, ripe tannins. Long warm finish.
Probably best between 2005 & 2010. Ideal with strong flavoured red meat, especially local venison.
Alc. 15.5 SG. 1.7 TA 4.9 pH 3.8 VA 0.55 SO2 37 & 63