Alto M.P.H.S. 2007

Alto M.P.H.S. 2007

Colour: Deep and intense red.
Bouquet: The aroma of this wine is concentrated and still slightly closed. Clear notes of cedar and graphite pencil with a school book classic Cabernet Franc character. Very elegant in style with lovely fruit and dark berry aromas. In terms of the style of Bordeaux, it tends more towards Margaux than Pauillac.
Taste: Generous mouthfeel with soft, elegant and wellintegrated tannins. After spending two years in new wood the fruit is still more prominent than the wood and the wine delivers exceptional balance and complexity.

Excellent enjoyed on its own or served with lamb, steak, venison, casseroles, charcuterie and even mature cheeses.

variety : Cabernet Franc [ 67% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon ]
winery : Alto Estate
winemaker : Schalk van der Westhuizen
wine of origin : Western Cape
analysis : alc : 14.70 % vol  rs : 3.40 g/l  pH : 3.44  ta : 5.80 g/l  
type : Red   wooded
pack : Bottle  size : 750ml  closure : Cork  

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 farm Alto, a reference to its altitude (some slopes rise as high as 500m above sea level) and his striving for excellence. The cellar was built in 1920.

Alto has 93 hectares under vines. The trellised vineyards cling to the high granite slopes, ideal for the cultivation of red wine varieties. Harvesting at Alto traditionally only starts at the end of February / beginning March due to the cooling influence of the southerly breezes during this time. This ensures gradual ripening of the grapes and contributes to the development of delicate flavour in the fruit.

Just six barrels (1 800 litres) have been made of the maiden 2007 vintage of the 67/33 blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The name MPHS reflects the initials of the four winemakers who have built the reputation of the farm. They are Manie Malan, whose father planted only red cultivars on Alto as early as the 1920s; Piet du Toit, who acquired the farm in 1959; his son, Hempies, the renowned Springbok rugby player, who took over in 1983; and Schalk himself, who joined Alto in 2000.

Vineyards
Cabernet Franc - The vines were 11 years old at the time of harvesting, west-facing and situated some 400m above sea level. Grown in deep Hutton soil, the vines are located on slopes cooled by afternoon sea breezes. Drip irrigation was used only when deemed necessary.

Cabernet Sauvignon - The vines were 14 years old at the time of harvesting, north to north-west facing and situated some 500m above sea level. Grown in rocky, decomposed granite soil, they are located on slopes cooled by afternoon sea breezes. Drip irrigation was used only when deemed necessary. 

about the harvest: Cabernet Franc - The yield achieved was 8tons perhectare.
CabernetSauvignon - The vines yielded an average of of 4 tons per hectare.

in the cellar : Cabernet Franc - The grapes were hand-harvested at 24° to 25° Balling in the early morning of 28 February 2007. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at 25° to 27°C. The pump-over method was used to ensure maximum extraction of colour. The wine was separated from the skins after 10 days and was racked twice in stainless steel tanks. After malolactic fermentation it was transferred to new 300-litre medium-toasted, fine grain French oak barrels for f 24 months.

Cabernet Sauvignon - The grapes were hand-harvested at 24° to 25° Balling on 26 March 2007. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at 25° to 27°C. The pump-over method was used to ensure maximum extraction of colour. The wine was separated from the skins after 10 days after which the wine was racked twice in stainless steel tanks. After malolactic fermentation it was transferred into 300-litre new medium toast French oak barrels for 24 months.

The wine was blended without fining and received a light filtering before it was bottled on 3 August 2009. Total quantity produced: 2 200 bottles.

OTHER VINTAGES - not for sale

Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc