De Trafford Plan B 2011
“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.
For the first time we bought a few barrels of Merlot from our neighbouring vineyard, Keermont, to improve the balance of our Plan B blend. This was from a young vineyard on decomposed loamy granite soil typical of the area and ideal for Merlot.
Cabernet Sauvignon 31%; Syrah 19%
Mostly from neighbouring Keermont vineyard. A few barrels that struggled to finish fermenting and the VA went up too high. We had to reduce this with the use of a fancy French reverse osmosis machine. A rather harsh treatment, but feel the wine has the intensity to bounce back after a year or two in bottle.
Petit Verdot 15%
We sacrificed a couple of barrels of excellent Petit Verdot to improve the Plan B blend. Same block from neighbouring Keermont vineyard we have been using for the last few years.
We had a late 2010 winter with a little below average rainfall, but cold enough in May to ensure even bud-break in spring. The growing season was cool with some regular rainfall, which made up for the drier winter. Flowering was good and although December was very windy (most in 42 years), we had no damage and a normal healthy crop of very good quality. The harvest period was very hot and dry, but we managed to get all the grapes to the cellar in good condition and at reasonable temperatures. 2011 was a reasonably trouble free harvest.
Plan B is produced in pretty much the same way as the top De Trafford wines, just a barrel selection of those we don’t feel meet our high standards. This includes hand picking, destemming and crushing directly into 2 ton open top fermentation tanks. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation with the cap of skins punched down 2 – 4 times a day for 10 to 14 days. Wine drained directly to small barrels for malolactic fermentation. Some of the wine, in particular the Cabernet Sauvignon was in 40% new French oak for the first year, thereafter only old 225ℓ oak was used. Time in barrels 19 months with several rackings to gradually clarify the wine and assist maturation. No fining and bottled unfiltered.
Bottling date: 05 / 11 / 12 Production: 342 x 12 x 750mℓ (Only sold by case of 12)
Medium deep youthful red colour. Attractive spicy, cherry nose showing ripe fruit and a little new oak. Juicy fruit on palate with some time needed for tannins to soften and components to come together. Best 2014 to 2020.
Alc. 14.69% SG. 2.3g/ℓ TA 4.6g/ℓ pH 3.81 VA 0.78 SO2 31free 69total