De Trafford Chenin Blanc 2000
( Previous vintage winner of the 2000 Chenin Blanc Wine Challenge )
1 block ( Keerweder ) 28 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 7 tons / hectare.
2 blocks ( Post House ) 14 & 16 year old vines on a 4 wire trellis with moveable foliage wires. Lower slopes of the Helderberg, 8 km from the cooling influence of the sea. Gravelly Hutton soil. Yield 5 & 10 tons / hectare. Lightly irrigated to releave drought and heat stress.
The growing season was generally hot and dry with no disease problems. A little releaving rain fell in January and the following ripening period was particularly dry and hot. Despite the heat, we obtained fully ripe grapes at lower sugars than usual. In fact we harvested some Chenin after Cabernet at lower sugars.
The grapes were picked in the cool mornings @ 22 – 24 degrees balling.
Harvest date 7 / 2 / 00 – 29 / 2 / 00
Grapes lightly crushed and allowed 3 hours skin contact before gently pressing in a traditional basket press. Sulphur and dry ice added and natural settling allowed for 2 days before.
100 % barrel fermentation with natural yeasts.
All the wine kept in 225 l casks for 8 months with lees stirred 1 – 2 times a month initially.
30 % new oak used – mostly American from Demptos, Napa. Partial malolactic fermentation.
Bottled unfiltered on the property by hand with only a light bentonite fining.
Bottling date : 31 / 10 / 00.
An appealing light yellow colour.
The nose shows attractive spicy, vanilla oak with apricot/citrus fruit core and an intiguing mineral, hay character. The palate is very full bodied with a mouthwatering thread of acidity that carries the complex fruit and oak flavours to a long aftertaste.
Excellent with rich fish and seafood dishes, subtle red and white meats or on its own.
ALC. 13.75 SUGAR 1.5 TA 5.8 pH 3.40 VA 0.43 SO2 38 & 116