De Trafford Chenin Blanc 2013
Label painting by Rita Trafford titled: ‘Graciously’.
2 blocks ( Keerweder ) 41 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. 2nd block 7yr vines on 6 wire vertical trellis. Lightly irrigated at veraison only. 7 tons/ha
2 blocks ( Post House ) 27 & 29 year old vines on a 7 wire trellis with moveable foliage wires. Lower slopes of the Helderberg, 8 km from the cooling influence of the sea. Gravelly Hutton and Escourt soil. Yield 4 tons/ha. Lightly irrigated at veraison.
1 block ( Helderzicht ) 29 year old bush vines. Foothills of the Helderberg 4km from False Bay. Sandy, gravelly Escourt soil. Lightly irrigated at veraison. Yield 7 tons/ha.
2013 vintage was characterised by extreme wind in late spring, which seriously reduced our crop and foliage for all our varieties, though our Chenin Blanc was a little less affected. The rest of the season was good with typical hot, dry weather during the harvest period. We started picking on the 1st February and continued through to the end of the month. A slightly earlier harvest than average with all the hand harvested and sorted grapes coming into the cellar in perfect condition.
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: 05/02/2014 (545 x 12 x 750ml; 36 x 1,5L; 9 x 3L)
Attractive pale yellow colour. Fresh dusty cut grass on the nose at first with ripe melon, lemon, honey, butter and roasted almonds emerging. Emphasis a little more on freshness and elegance, rather than richness, compared to earlier vintages. A lively, but rather closed palate shortly after bottling with dusty apricots, nuts, lemon and honey showing on a moderately rich mid-palate and a long dry, nutty finish. Excellent with rich fish, seafood and sushi.
Already showing a lot of complexity – drink now to 2020.
ALC. 13.92 % SUGAR: 2.3g/l TA: 4.8g pH: 3.47 VA: 0.72g/l SO2: 13 free & 75 total