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De Trafford Syrah 393 2016

2005 – WS (Wine Spectator) 94, Platter 5 stars; 2006 – Platter 5 stars; 2007 – WS 95;

2008 – Platter 5 stars & Red Wine of the Year; 2009 - WS95;

2011 – WS 96, the best SA red wine score ever. 2012 – WS 94

2014 – Tim Atkin 95

 

100% ELEVATION 393 VINEYARD

Our home vineyard on the Mont Fleur farm, high up (393m above sea level) on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain. The closest mountain in Stellenbosch to the sea. The Syrah is planted on the steepest part and much of it on small terraces. Rocky, granitic based Hutton soil.

One section 21 yr old vines on vertical trellis. Clones SH21A; SH1A & SH99 all on 101-14 rootstock. 5000 vines / hect. Yield 4 tons / hect. (29hℓ/ha)

2nd section 13 year old vines on vertical trellis with narrow rows and high planting density as above. Clones SH470 (sourced from Cote Rotie); SH174 (sourced from Hermitage) and SH747 all on 101-14 (low vigour) rootstock. Yield 2 tons / hect. (10hℓ/ha)

 

VINTAGE CONDITIONS

A difficult and challenging vintage. Winter started late, but we had enough cold to ensure good budbreak in spring. We had below average winter rain, but a good normal spring. An early hot summer with several heatwaves throughout the season meant lower growth and a smaller crop with small berries. The little bit of supplementary water we could apply (sooner than ever before) went a long way to help keep quality high. Harvest was our earliest ever, starting more than a week earlier than normal. The hot weather and particularly warm evenings meant acidity was low and we had to pick earlier than usual – our lowest alcohol from this site since 2004. Thankfully cooler weather arrived in the middle of the February preserving the complex flavours.

Harvest date:  11/02/2016 –  25/02/2016 @ 23.6-24.1 Balling.

 

PRODUCTION

A stricter than usual green harvest and our earliest picking to retain acidity and freshness in an extreme season. (We never add acidity). Handpicking into 20 kg crates. Destemming and gentle crushing directly into small 2 ton open top fermentation tanks with 10% whole bunches. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ max. 30°C with the cap of skins punched down manually 1 - 4 times a day for 14 days. Wine drained directly to barrels together with single pressing from traditional basket press. Malolactic fermentation in the barrel. 40% new fine grained, slow toasted small French oak was used in the first year and no new oak in the second year. Time in barrel 19 months with only 2 gentle rackings. This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered by hand. Bottling date: 7/11/2017

Production: 259 x 12 x 750ml, 24 x 1.5L.

 

TASTING NOTES

Bright deep purple / red colour. Dense, rich nose of middle eastern spiced berry compote. Hints of pomegranate, herbal (fynbos) notes and a little white pepper. Delicious bright berry flavours and vibrant spice on the palate with a crunchy tannic backbone and a chalky dry finish.

Benefits from some decanting and probably best from 2020 to 2030.

Enjoy with Moroccan spiced lamb or venison and mushroom casserole.

 

 

ANALYSIS

Alc. 14,23%     SG. 1,8g/l      TA 5,6g/l      pH 3,47        VA 0,70     SO2 free 21 total 66