De Trafford Plan B 2010
“Plan B” is a true “second” wine – a collection of barrels we feel are not quite up to the high quality we expect for our wines, but too good to sell off in bulk.
2010 arrived like a tidal wave. A small intense vintage where sugars simply snowballed as optimum ripeness approached. We lost a lot of Syrah fruit at flowering and only managed to put together 5 barrels of Blueprint Syrah. We bought some additional fruit from an excellent block we’ve worked with before at Post House, but this time it caught us by surprise and the sugars were way too high. This forms the core of the 2010 Plan B. In addition we had some Cabernet Sauvignon, which took a long time to complete fermentation and was left out of our assemblage. To tone down this formidable combination we sacrificed a few barrels of fine Merlot.
A cool, overcast, rainy spring led to poor fruit set and smaller looser bunches. Very strong winds caused some physical damage and also contributed to reducing the size of the crop. The Syrah and Chenin Blanc were the worst affected. The small crop contributed to faster ripening and the grapes being picked a little riper than expected. A hot, dry harvest, producing big, concentrated wines with great complexity, but lacking finesse.
100% destemming and crushing by hand directly into 2 ton open top fermentation tanks. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ 30ºC with the cap of skins punched down 2 – 4 times a day for 10 to 14 days. Wine drained directly to barrels together with single pressing from traditional basket press. All our wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in the barrel. Only old 225ℓ French oak was used. Time in barrels 18 months with several rackings to gradually clarify the wine and assist maturation.
Bottling date: 21 / 09 / 11
Production: 350 x 12 x 750mℓ (Only sold by case of 12)
Deep, dark red. Brooding black cherry, blackcurrant, Christmas pudding and marzipan nose. Big, rich mouthfilling palate. Thick soft tannins and intense fruit dominating the alcohol at this stage. Built to kickstart a party and go with anything you throw on the braai. Drink young – 1 to 3 years, but should last a long time – 10 years plus. (The high alcohol should preserve the wine, but may become more obvious after a few years.)
Alc. 16.25% SG. 3.5g/ℓ TA 5.5g/ℓ pH 3.74 VA 0.85 SO2 10free 37total