De Trafford, Syrah 393 2018

(2 reviews)

David Trafford, owner and winemaker, enjoyed a successful career as an architect before changing direction and pursuing his passion for winemaking. His wife, Rita, is a qualified chef and artist. Each of the De Trafford labels is designed by one of the dynamic pair.

Yet another excellent vintage of this wine, made from Syrah grapes grown 393 metres above sea level, on some of the Helderberg mountains’ highest and steepest slopes. Conditions were excellent, leading to small bunches of small berries, with great concentration.

Deep ruby in the glass. Expect notes of bright raspberries, concentrated blackcurrants and sweet black plum with tobacco, chocolate, peppery spice and integrated oak.

Powerful and refined, with a long evolving finish. A wine with critical acclaim by the bucket-load; indulge yourself in exceptional terroir and exquisite winemaking.

95pts | Platter's


Out of stock


Shiraz / Syrah

LightFull Bodied


‘SYRAH 393 2018
Our most awarded wine and another Platter 5 star vintage. 100% ELEVATION 393 VINEYARD Our home vineyard on the Mont Fleur farm, high up (393m above sea level) on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain. The closest mountain in Stellenbosch to the sea. The Syrah is planted on the steepest part and much of it on small terraces. Rocky, granitic based Hutton soil. One section 23 yr old vines on vertical trellis. Clones SH21A; SH1A & SH99 all on 101-14 rootstock. 5000 vines / hect. Yield 4 tons / hect. (29hℓ/ha) 2 nd section 15 year old vines on vertical trellis with narrow rows and high planting density as above. Clones SH470 (sourced from Cote Rotie); SH174 (sourced from Hermitage) and SH747 all on 101-14 (low vigour) rootstock. Yield 4 tons / hect. (29hℓ/ha)

Another excellent vintage to follow 2017, after 2 years of drought. Winter started a bit late, but was cold enough to get dormancy off to a good start and give the vines a rest. Bud break started late as winter dragged on into September. The early growing season was windy with cold and wet periods leading to uneven flowering and berry set resulting in lower yields. The rest of the growing season was dry and hot followed by much cooler temperatures in February with especially cool nights. Disease pressure was low and the grapes were very healthy with ideal small bunches and small berries. Harvest was a little later than usual with little rain to trouble us. Quite similar conditions to the 2017 vintage. Harvest dates: 20/2/18 – 1/3/18 @ 22.6 – 25°B

Handpicking into 20 kg crates. Destemming and gentle crushing directly into small 2 ton open top fermentation tanks with 10% whole bunches. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ max. 30°C with the cap of skins punched down manually 1 – 3 times a day for 14 days. Wine drained directly to barrels together with single pressing from traditional basket press. Malolactic fermentation in the barrel. 35% new fine grained, slow toasted small French oak was used in the first year and old 700L oak in the second year. Time in barrel 20 months with only 2 gentle rackings. This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered by hand. Bottling date: 27/11/2019 Production: 277 x 12 x 750ml, 45 x 1.5L.

Bright deep red colour. Layers of Middle Eastern spices, bright raspberries and concentrated blackcurrants on the nose. The palate is loaded with flavour. Powerful, as always from this vineyard, along with surprising refinement. Long, complex finish. Ready to drink on release, but likely to last a lifetime. Best 2021 to 2030. Enjoy with slow roasted (or braaied) and lightly spiced pork belly.’

Additional information

Alcohol vol



Shiraz / Syrah





Wine Farm

Try it with unfussy, uncomplicated food, so the wine can sing; like roasted pork chops and buttery mash.

2 reviews for De Trafford, Syrah 393 2018

  1. 95pts | Platter’s

    Altitude of rocky, steep, partly terraced home-vineyard on Mont Fleur farm inspires name of this celebrated syrah, deftly marries richness & power with refinement. 2018 full-ripe blackcurrant & raspberry, spicy hint of liquorice, fine tannins boding well for the future. 20 months in 40% new barrels vs 12 months for 2017 (4.5 stars, 93 pts). Also 1.5L.

    Platter’s 2021

  2. 92pts | Tim Atkin

    Much better than the rather feral Blueprint Syrah in 2018, this is a ripe, full-throttle style of Syrah with lots of colour, fig, blackberry and fynbos flavours, smooth tannins and some sweet coconutty oak. 2022-27

    Tim Atkin 2021 SA Report

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