DE TRAFFORD SYRAH 393 2016
We've produced a highly rated Syrah from a small parcel on our farm 393m above sea level on the decomposed granitic slopes of the Helderberg mountain since 1998. Every vintage, even the first from 3 year old vines, has scored more than 90 points in The Wine Spectator and our 2011 remains the highest-scoring SA red wine in history. The 2008 was the Platter Red Wine of the Year and every vintage was awarded at least 4 ½ stars. So what's in the glass though?
2016 was a tough year. The heart of the much publicized 3 year drought in the Western Cape; hot and dry and our earliest harvest ever. It felt like we were making wine in the Swartland! In order to counter the low acidities, we had to pick a bit earlier than usual and we included some whole clusters to add freshness and crunchy tannins to make up for low acidity (We never add any tartaric acid). We fermented a little cooler too, to avoid over-extraction of the not quite ripe tannins. Our normal practice of getting the wine into small barrels immediately after fermentation certainly helped to transform the awkward austere tannins into something much finer. We bottled the wine after about 19 months barrel maturation. The result is a little different from our usual style, but loaded with character and complexity and a long life ahead as usual.
DE TRAFFORD BLUEPRINT SYRAH 2016
Our first vintage of the Blueprint was 2003 and this wine has gone from strength to strength over the years. Most of the fruit comes from a 1,3 ha block on the exceptional Keermont Estate and we've vinified this block from its first crop in 2001. The soil is also decomposed granite, from a little lower down on the Helderberg mountain and a little deeper, producing a less concentrated, softer wine that shows beautifully when it's young. The Blueprint 2012 was the Platter Red Wine of the Year a few years ago. Much like our Syrah 393, we picked a little earlier and included more whole clusters than usual. The result needs to be tasted! We're open every Saturday morning or during the week by appointment – we look forward to seeing you, though you may want to order a few bottles anyway as we tend to sell out fast.
DE TRAFFORD CABERNET FRANC 2014
Not everyone is a fan of Cabernet Franc, but this variety thrives on the poor, clay-rich high-lying slopes of the Helderberg mountain. This is usually the base for our Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Wine, Perspective, but we decided not to produce an Auction wine in 2014, as it lacked the concentration & structure for an Auction wine. Though 2014 may be a lighter vintage, it's suitably delicious and plays into the character of Cabernet Franc with its more elegant style. This is a 50/50 combination of our Elevation 393 vineyard and a similar high-lying Keermont site. 19 months in 35% new French oak lends suitable finesse to the wine.
All wines are available for sale here.