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de Trafford Merlot
2008 Merlot


Vineyard: 1st block on low lying Helderberg mountain site, 2nd block ‘Mont Fleur’ vineyard – high altitude mountain slope and 3rd block “Keermont” vineyard – high altitude mountain slope.
Soil Type: Poor gravelly clay soil, deep red Hutton and deep gravelly Hutton.
Vine Age: 14 to 20 years old.
Irrigation: No irrigation
Harvest Date: from 15 February to 25 March 2008.
Yield: 29 to 45 hl/ha.


Slightly above average winter rain was followed by a hot dry spring and trouble free growing season. A little rain delayed the harvest slightly with warmer nights reducing acidity. Similar to 2007, but a little softer and less intense.
Handpicking into 20 kg lugboxes. Destemming and gentle crushing directly into small 2 ton open top fermentation tanks. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation at maximum 30°Centigrade, with the cap of skins punched down manually 1-3 times a day for 10 to 14 days. Wine drained directly to barrels together with single pressing from traditional basket press.
Malolactic fermentation in barrels; 35% new French oak was used from high-quality coopers. 18 months in barrels, which included several rackings to gradually clarify the wine and assist maturation.
The wine was bottled unfiltered by hand on the property.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Attractive bright red colour.
Nose: Pure red berry and cherry fruit with intriguing dusty spearmint, nuts and spices.
Palate: These flavors follow through on the palate with lovely fine, dry tannins and a soft, long finish.
Other: Ideal with baked pasta (such as cannelloni) and various light red meat dishes such as veal and pork.

Chemical Analysis:

Alc (%): 15.18
RS (g/l): 1.6
TA (g/l): 5.2
pH: 3.78