De Trafford Foundation Block Merlot 2001
This is our original Mont Fleur block we planted in 1983 with a cocktail of different varieties. We soon realized Merlot performed best and interplanted with more Merlot in 1990, increasing the planting density to 6 200 vines/ha. A mix of clones on mostly R110 rootstock. Soil a mix of deep red Hutton and alluvial. Yield 10 tons/ha. Unirrigated.
A dry, warm to hot summer. The ripening period was hot and dry, but with only a few excessively hot days (over 30°C), producing ripe, healthy grapes with high sugars and balanced structure and fine, complex flavours.
Harvest date : 1 / 3 / 01 @ 25.4° balling.
Handpicked into 20 kg lugboxes. Destemmed and crushed directly into a small 2 ton open top fermentation tank. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ max. 32 deg. with the cap of skins punched down manually 3- 4 times a day for 14 days. Wine drained directly to barrels together with single pressing from traditional basket press.
We battled to get this wine to complete malolactic fermentation due to the high alcohol and low pH. Incredibly it remained on the lees in barrel for 2 years without any sulphur additions. Time in barrel 29 months in mostly used French oak.
This wine was bottled unfiltered by hand on the property.
Bottling date : 25/7/03. Production : 115 cases.
Dark red colour. Intense spiced dark cherry and plum nose. A big, complex flavoured Merlot with a rich, dry, structured palate. Probably best between 2005 & 2012. Ideal with a variety of rich meat dishes.
Alc. 15.6 SG. 2.1 TA 7.1 pH 3.2 VA 0.56 SO2 28 & 72