SOUTH AFRICA


de Trafford Merlot
2003 Merlot

Viticulture

Vineyard: Low lying, and high altitude.
Soil Type: Poor gravelly clay soil, and deep red Hutton.
Vine Age: 7 years.
Irrigation: Lightly irrigated
Harvest Date: 8 / 2 / 03 - 12 / 3 / 03.
Yield: 5 - 6 t/ha

Vinification:

The growing and ripening period was near perfect. A light irrigation at veraison ensured the grapes got through the end of the warm, dry summer without too much stress. The wines have intense fruit, excellent structure and great maturation potential.
Handpicking into 20 kg lugboxes. Destemming and gentle crushing directly into small 2 ton open top fermentation tanks. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ max. 30 deg. with the cap of skins punched down manually 2-3 times a day for 10 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. Time in barrel 21 months, which included several rakings to gradually clarify the wine and assist maturation.
The wine was bottled unfiltered by hand on the property.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Deep red color.
Nose: Dark cherry and plum nose with spices and roasted oats complimenting.
Palate: A big, intensely flavored merlot with a rich, mouth filling palate and a classic long, firm finish.
Other: Probably best between 2006 & 2013. Ideal with strong flavored grilled red meat.

Chemical Analysis:

Alc (%): 14.6
RS (g/l): 1.7
TA (g/l): 5.9
pH: 3.51
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