Alto Rouge 2004

Alto Rouge 2004

Colour: Brilliant red.
Bouquet: Lively, intense and fresh fruity aromas.
Taste: A medium bodied wine with tobacco, chocolate, toast and vanilla flavours. The tannins give the wine complexity and excellent ageing potential.

The winemaker recommends serving it with simply flavoured red meats, game and duck or enjoying on its own.

variety : Merlot [ 45% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 15% Shiraz ]
winery : Alto Estate
winemaker : Schalk van der Westhuizen
wine of origin : Coastal
analysis : alc : 14.45 % vol  rs : 3.20 g/l  pH : 3.58  ta : 5.9 g/l  
type : Red  style : Dry  body : Medium   wooded
pack : Bottle  closure : Cork  

AWARDS

2007 Swiss International Air Lines Wine Awards - Gold Award

in the vineyard : Background
Alto, situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain in the Stellenbosch district, dates back to 1693 when it was part of a much larger farm called Groenrivier (Green River), granted to a free burgher by Governor Simon van der Stel. In 1919 the owner of the farm, Hennie Malan, sold off half the land to his brother-in-law and set about planting vines on his remaining portion, focusing exclusively on red varieties. He named the smaller farm 'Alto', a reference to its altitude (some slopes rise as high as 500 metres above sea-level) and his striving for excellence. By 1922, he was shipping his 'Alto Rouge' to London.

In 1959 the farm was sold to the Du Toit family and, in 1999, Alto was brought into the LUSAN Holdings operation, a joint venture of Distell and international financier Hans Schreiber.

Alto has 93 hectares under vines. The trellised vineyards cling to the high granite slopes that are ideal for the cultivation of red varieties. Apart from a once-off 1997 Port, Alto still has a very focused product list, namely the well-known Alto Rouge, Alto Cabernet Sauvignon and more recently an award-winning Alto Shiraz which has been added to the list.

This wine is made up of a Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot (45%) Cabernet Sauvignon (25%), Cabernet Franc (15%) and Shiraz (15%).

The vineyards (viticulturist: Eben Archer)
All four varietals were hand-picked from trellised vineyards, growing in Hutton and Glenrosa soils. The vineyards, all north or north-west facing, are situated against the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain at 160m to 500m above sea level and benefit from the cooling effect of the afternoon maritime breezes during the ripening season.

At the time of picking the Merlot vines were 6 to 20 years old, the Cabernet Sauvignon between 10 and 21 years old, the Cabernet Franc 17 years old and the Shiraz, 17 years old.

The Merlot yielded 5 tons per hectare, the Cabernet Sauvignon between 4 and 5 tons, while the Shiraz and Cabernet Franc produced only 3 tons per hectare.

about the harvest: The four varieties, which ripen at different times, were harvested at between 23° and 27° Balling

in the cellar : The winemaking (winemaker: Schalk van der Westhuizen)
Fermented on the skins over seven days at 25° to 27°C in closed stainless steel tanks. The fermenting mash was pumped over several times a day.

After malolactic fermentation the component wines were aged for 18 months in a combination of first, second and third-fill barriques, mostly of French oak.

OTHER VINTAGES - not for sale

Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon
Shiraz
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc
Shiraz
Shiraz
Merlot
Merlot
Merlot
Merlot
Merlot
Merlot
Merlot
Merlot