de Trafford Cabernet Sauvignon
1996 Cabernet Sauvignon


Vineyard: Low lying Helderberg Mountain.
Soil Type: Gravelly red Hutton.
Vine Age: Mostly 8 year old vines.
Irrigation: Drip Method
Harvest Date: 8 - 21 March 1996.
Yield: 7 t/ha


A fairly difficult vintage with above average rain during the growing period. The late ripening Cab. S. was less affected by the scattered rain during harvest than most other varieties. The fruit was picked fully ripe in beautiful condition with lots of color, flavor and suppleness.

100% destemming and crushing by hand directly into small open top stainless steel fermentation tanks. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ 30 degrees Celsius with the cap of skins punched down 3 times a day for approx. 10 days. Aim was to extract max. color, flavor and tannins without undue harshness. Wine drained directly to barrels together with single pressing from traditional basket press. 10% Merlot grapes used.

All wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in the barrel. This helps integrate the new oak component and fix color and flavor compounds. 30% new French oak and 5 % new American oak was used from the high quality 'Taransaud' and ' Demptos' cooperages. Time in barrel 19 months, which included several rakings to gradually clarify the wine and assist maturation development. Only the best barrels are chosen for the Cab.S. - the cellar's flagship wine.

This wine was lightly fined with egg whites (3 eggs per barrel), before bottling unfiltered by hand on the property.
Bottling date: 11 November 1997.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Dense, with purple tint.
Nose: Intense, creamy blackberry and Christmas pudding aromas.
Palate: Rich, sweetish berry fruit and spicy oak palate. Fine, firm structure and long finish.
Other: Probably best between 1999 and 2005. Enjoy with rich, but finely flavored dishes such as roasted or pan fried red and white meats with rich, creamy sauces.

Chemical Analysis:

Alc (%): 13.17
RS (g/l): 1.5
TA (g/l): 5.4
pH: 3.78
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