Alto M.P.H.S. 2012

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R6553 for 6 bottles

R1092 per bottle
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Colour: Dark lively brick red.
Bouquet: Typical Cabernet qualities namely lots of red berry fruit, a touch of nuttiness, good intensity with subtle wood overtones.
Taste: The wine is very well balanced with soft grape and wood tannins together with ripe fruit. The wine has a very pleasant after taste.

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

variety : Cabernet Franc | 50% Cabernet Franc, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon
winery : Alto Estate
winemaker : Bertho van der Westhuizen
wine of origin : Western Cape
analysis : alc : 15.0 % vol  rs : 3.3 g/l  pH : 3.6  ta : 6.0 g/l  
type : Red  style : Dry  body : Full  taste : Fruity   wooded
pack : Bottle  size : 750ml  closure : Cork  

ageing : A stylish princely wine with lovely age.

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.

in the vineyard : Cabernet Franc: The vines were 16 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 19 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 grapes were hand-harvested at 24° to 25° Balling in the early morning of March 2012. The yield achieved was 8 tons per hectare.

Cabernet Sauvignon: The grapes were hand-harvested at 24° to 25° Balling in late March 2012. The vines yielded an average of of 4 tons per hectare.

in the cellar : 

Cabernet Franc: 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: 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 mid 2014. Total quantity produced: 2,900 bottles.

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OTHER VINTAGES

Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc