De Trafford Chenin Blanc 2012
Label painting by Rita Trafford titled: ‘The Small Things Count’, inspired by the Euphorbias and the less noticed creatures of the Maasai Mara.
2 blocks (Keerweder) 40 year old vines on a 3 wire trellis on neighbouring cool, high altitude, SW slope. Deep red Hutton soil with good moisture retention. Unirrigated. Yield 3 tons/ha.
2 blocks (Post House) 26 & 28 year old vines on a 7 wire trellis with moveable foliage wires. Lower slopes of the Helderberg, 8km from the cooling influence of the sea. Gravelly Hutton and Escourt soil. Yield 4 tons/ha. Lightly irrigated at veraison.
1 block (Bredell) 28 year old bush vines. Foothills of the Helderberg 4km from False Bay. Sandy, gravelly Escourt soil. Lightly irrigated at veraison. Yield 7 tons/ha.
Winter 2011 was colder than usual, but with average rainfall resulting in excellent, even bud-break. We had good growth in spring, but poor weather (cold and rain) over the flowering period resulting in uneven flowering and berry set. We paid extra attention to green harvesting to help make up for this. Disease pressure was managed with well-timed sprays and open, small canopies. January was exceptionally hot, which really jolted the vines into ripeness. The ripening period of February and March was much cooler and close to perfect with little rain and no rot. We started harvesting some Chenin 2/2/12 and continued until 6/3/12 @ 21°B to 23.5°B.
Grapes lightly crushed and allowed 3 hours skin contact (a long breakfast!) before gently pressing in a traditional basket press. Sulphur added and natural settling allowed for 2 days before 100% barrel fermentation with natural yeasts. All the wine was kept in 225l and a few 700l casks for 9 months with lees stirred 1 – 2 times a month initially. 15% new French oak used. No malolactic fermentation. Lightly fined with bentonite – a natural clay. Bottled unfiltered on the property by hand.
Bottling date: 30/11/12. (816 x 12 x 750ml; 76 x 1,5L; 3 x 3L)
Attractive pale yellow colour. Dusty straw, lime nose at first with ripe melon, honey and almonds emerging. Similar to 2011, although a bit closed shortly after bottling, the fresh, zesty palate already shows complexity and excellent maturation potential. Layers of lemon, honey, dusty apricots and nuts reveal with time in the glass. Moderately rich mid palate and a long dry finish. Ideal with chilled lime flavoured avocado veloute’ with turmeric scented sea urchin or any other delicious seafood, fish or sushi. Drink now to 2020.
ALC. 14.39% SUGAR: 2.6g/l TA: 4.9g pH: 3.49 VA: 0.69g/l SO2: 28free & 90total