Stellenbosch, South Africa
The 2008 vintage de Trafford Blueprint Shiraz is a stunning red wine gem from the Stellenbosch wine region of South Africa. De Trafford Winery is situated on the beautiful Mont Fleur farm set at the top of a beautiful valley above Stellenbosch. It saddles the Stellenbosch and Helderberg Mountains at an elevation of 1200 ft. We made the trek up in April 2009 to meet owner/winemaker David Trafford and taste his latest releases. It was well worth the trip! De Trafford produces a minuscule 3500 cases per year, limited to selected varietals: Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot. The wines typically sell out within weeks of release. In just 10 years, David Trafford has become one of South Africa's top winemakers and one of only 38 invited members of the prestigious Cape Winemakers Guild. His 2008 Blueprint Shiraz received a 91-point rating from Wine Spectator and 90 points from Wine Advocate!
Grapes for de Trafford Blueprint Shiraz were hand-picked from 7-year old vines, largely from the neighboring Keermont Vineyard. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in the barrel to integrate the new oak component, using 15% new French oak and 10% new American oak. Time in barrel was 23 months with only a single racking. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered by hand. It is deep ruby-purple in color with an aromatic nose of dark cherry, raspberry and plum with white pepper, floral, nutty and herbal notes. Full-bodied yet elegantly restrained, the palate is packed with complex fruit and soft, ripe tannins. It is finely textured with a long, dry finish. While the wine is drinking beautifully now, it will continue to develop in bottle with careful cellaring over the next 6 to 8 years. Only 525 cases produced.
Enjoy de Trafford Blueprint Shiraz with lamb chops, BBQ beef ribs, steak and aged cheeses.