de Trafford Merlot
2002 Merlot


Vineyard: On low lying Helderberg mountain site, second block 'Mont Fleur' vineyard, high altitude mountain slope.
Soil Type: Poor gravelly clay soil and deep red Hutton.
Vine Age: One block 14 year old vines an a second block of 8 year old vines.
Irrigation: Drip Method
Harvest Date: From the 21st of February to the 15th of March 2002.
Yield: 2 and 6 tons per hectare.


The growing season was initially very difficult with downy mildew problems causing some crop loss. 150 mm rain fell mid-January, which delayed harvest a little and allowed the grapes to ripen comfortably in the warm to hot late summer.
Handpicking into 20 kg lugboxes. Destemming and gentle crushing directly into small 2 ton open top fermentation tanks. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation at maximum 31 degrees Centigrade with the cap of skins punched down manually 3 to 4 times a day for ten days. Wine drained directly to barrels together with single pressing from traditional basket press.
All our red wines undergo malolactic fermentation in the barrel. 35% new French oak and 5% new American oak was used from high quality coopers. Eighteen months in barrel, 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.
Production: 500 cases.
The wine contains 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Dark red colour.
Nose: Dark cherry and plum nose with an interesting creamy, nutty character.
Palate: A big, intensely flavored merlot with a rich, mouth filling palate and a creamy finish.
Other: Probably best between 2004 and 2011. Ideal with strong flavored grilled red meat.

Chemical Analysis:

Alc (%): 14.9
RS (g/l): 1.6
TA (g/l): 5.4
pH: 3.56