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De Trafford Syrah 393 2015

2005 – WS 94, Platter 5 stars; 2006 – WS 93, Platter 5 stars; 2007 – WS 95; 2008 – WS 93, Platter 5 stars & Red Wine of the Year; 2009 - WS95;

2010 – WS 94, Decanter Gold & Regional Trophy

2011 – Wine Spectator 96; the best SA red wine score ever. 2012 – Wine Spectator 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 20 yr old vines on vertical trellis. Clones SH21A; SH1A & SH99 all on 101-14 rootstock. 5000 vines / hect. Yield 3 tons / hect. (22hℓ/ha)

2nd section 12 year old vines on vertical trellis with narrow rows and planting density as above. Clones SH470 (sourced from Cote Rotie); SH174 (sourced from Hermitage) and SH747 all on

101-14 (low vigour) rootstock. Yield 4 tons / hect. (29hℓ/ha)

 

Vintage Conditions

Good post 2014 harvest rains and an early cold, wet winter meant a good build-up of reserves and dormancy. Warm weather in August resulted in early and importantly even bud-break. The warm, dry windy summer kept growth moderate and sped up ripening by about 2 weeks, as well as ensuring no health problems. Although fertility was good, bunches and berries were smaller than usual, contributing to the lower yield. The summer was warm to hot, but there were no real heatwaves during the critical ripening period, which with lower temperatures at night, ensured excellent flavour development and good pH and acidity. Despite such an early harvest, 2015 is emerging as one of the best ever harvests.

 

Harvest date:  1/02/2015 – 25/02/201 @ 23.5-25.2 Balling.

 

Production

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 21 months with only 2 gentle rackings. This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered by hand. Bottling date: 6/1/2017

Production: 211 x 12 x 750ml, 30 x 1.5L.

 

Tasting Notes

Deep, dense colour. Brooding dark berry fruit with dusty fynbos, violets and white pepper nose. Palate also rather closed and needing time to evolve with concentrated, complex fruit hidden behind plenty of fine grained tannins.

Best to drink between 2020 to 2030.

A wine to linger over, but delicious with a venison casserole.

 

 Analysis

Alc. 15,18%         SG. 1,3g/l         TA 5,4g/l          pH 3,53          VA 0,58          SO2 free 10 total 34