de Trafford Merlot
1998 Merlot


Vineyard: 1 block low lying and 1 block high altitude.
Soil Type: 1 block poor gravelly soil, 1 block deep red Hutton.
Vine Age: both blocks 10 year old vines.
Irrigation: Sprayer
Harvest Date: 12 - 20 February 1998.
Yield: 1 block 8 and 1 block 5 t/ha


A dry, hot summer. The ripening period was hot and dry, but thankfully not too many excessively hot days. The harvest was early with ripe, healthy grapes producing big wines with high alcohols.

Handpicking into 20 kg lugboxes. Destemming and gentle crushing directly into small 2 ton open top fermentation tanks. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ max. 33 deg. with the cap of skins punched down manually 2 - 4 times a day for 10 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 color and flavor compounds. 35% new French oak and 5 % new American oak was used from the high quality 'Taransaud' and 'Demptos' cooperages. Time in barrel
17 months, which included several rakings to gradually clarify the wine and assist maturation.
This wine was lightly fined with fresh egg whites before bottling unfiltered by hand on the property. Bottling date: 16 / 8 / 99.
Production: 725 cases.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Dark red color.
Nose: Intense dark cherry and plum nose with exotic cinnamon spiciness.
Palate: A big chunky merlot with a rich, mouth filling palate.
Other: Probably best between 2001 & 2006. Ideal with strong flavored grilled red meat.

Chemical Analysis:

Alc (%): 14.54
RS (g/l): 2.0
TA (g/l): 5.6
pH: 3.74