Cheval Franc
2004
General Description:

Renowned amongst local wine lovers as the true Maltese thoroughbred since its inception in 1994, Cheval Franc was inspired by the passion for horses of Marsovin's late founder Chevalier Anthony Cassar, hence its name. Cheval Franc is a privately-owned estate wine, which is made predominantly from Cabernet Franc grapes blended with Syrah grapes, both grown and handpicked from the Cheval Franc Estate. This Estate, which is Marsovin’s second largest, is situated on the Wardija hillside, overlooking the islands of St. Paul. It was chosen for its proximity to the sea with its cool evening breezes, and its soil variety that yields grapes of excellent quality, resulting in an intense bouquet.

Grape Varieties: Cabernet Franc & Shiraz
The Vineyard & Training Systems

Cheval Franc estate in Ghollieq, St.Pauls'Bay. 4.175 hectares of land under vine. The estate is on a slope with clay soil with 20% terrarossa subsoil facing North, North West. Vertical trellis system with replacement cane pruning for Cabernet Franc and permanent cordon short spur pruning for Shiraz . Controlled drip irrigation with 6,250 vines per hectare.

Yield, Harvest & Vintage Conditions

18,427kg of grapes harvested.

Yield: 30 hectolitres per hectare.

Hand harvested on 01/09/2004.

The 2004 vintage was characterised by average winter climatic conditions and a particularly cool summer, with the average temperature for July being as much as 3°C lower than the average for the month. This led to a prolonged maturity, giving particularly well structured, balanced wines.

Vinification

Destemming, 14 days maceration, temperature controlled fermentation.

Wine Analysis: Acidity: 5.3g/l Alcohol: 12.6%
Peak Drinking: 2009 - 2013
Food Matches

Cheese & herb souffle`, Lamb with flageolets, rabbit stewed in beer or rabbit liver with spinach.

Tasting Notes:

Appearance

Medium intensity with a deep ruby core, a wide tawny rim and noticeable long legs.

Nose

Moderate level of developing nature with mineral aromas of tar and stone; with vegetal characteristics of wet grass and nuances reminiscent of rum & raisin.

Palate

Good level of acidity and velvety tannins. It is medium bodied with concentrated dried fruit flavours of prunes, sweet spice, black currants, black pepper and reminiscent of Christmas pudding. It has generous alcohol and a lingering finish.

Conclusion

The 2004 displays the typical characteristics of Cheval Franc coupled with distinct flavours and traces of spice. It is ready to drink now but can keep for a further 4 years.