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de Trafford Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch 2011

About the Wine:
Deep, dark red color. Intense rich, ripe cassis and blackberry nose with lovely spicy, lead pencil and creamy fynbos aromas. Rich, ripe fruit on palate with layers of spice and creamy fynbos. Great intensity with prominent fine tannins that carry the wine to a long finish. 
About the Producer:
Architect, David Trafford and chef/artist wife, Rita, purchased the property in 1976, but they had to wait 18 years to plant their commercial vineyard due to quota restrictions. During that waiting period, they produced experimental wines that were only consumed by family and friends. In 1991, when restrictions were lifted, they were ready to go. They focus on small production of about 3,500 cases so that they can perfectly craft every detail. Their single vineyard wines come from the closest mountain to the sea in Stellenbosch, up 393m above sea level. 
The grapes come from four different blocks - 2 from their own vineyard at Mont Fleur, 400m above sea level, and 2 from their neighbors, a little lower down the same Helderberg slope.
Vine age varies between 7 & 24 years old. They are all on well exposed North facing mountain slopes with deep gravelly, clay, granite-based soils. These soils allow good moisture retention during the hot, dry summer months without too much vigor in the Spring. The high iron content gives the wine great mid palate weight while the small berry and thick skins provides intensity and length.
In general, they use around 1/3 new oak to ensure the 'older' barrels are still youthful and provide the right amount of air exchange to soften the tannins, especially in the first few months post fermentation.
The barrels are racked every few months to enhance the maturation process and gradually get the wine clear and stable. They keep their wines in barrel for longer than most; about 23 months, to avoid any fining and unfiltered, like all their wines. Most vintages are best at around 8 - 20 years.