De Trafford Chenin Blanc 2003

VINEYARD BLOCKS

1 block ( Keerweder ) 31 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 5 tons / hectare.

2 blocks ( Post House ) 17 & 19 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 9 tons / hectare. Lightly irrigated just after veraison.

VINTAGE CONDITIONS

The cool wet winter got the growing season off to an excellent start with even budding and the rest of the season was relatively trouble-free. The cool, dry weather leading up to the harvest meant the grapes developed concentrated, complex flavours that may take a while to develop in the bottle. Clearly one of the best harvests ever.

The grapes were picked in the cool mornings @ 22 – 24º Balling.

Harvest dates: 4 / 2 / 03 – 19 / 3 / 03

PRODUCTION

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 was kept in 225 l casks for 8 months with lees stirred 1 – 2 times a month initially.
20% new oak used – half French, half American. Most barrels did not go through malolactic fermentation.

Bottled unfiltered on the property by hand with only a light bentonite fining.

Bottling date : 17 / 11 / 03.

TASTING NOTES

An appealing pale yellow colour.

The nose shows subtle nutty, creamy oak with a complex mineral, damp hay character.
The palate is rich and full bodied with a mouthwatering thread of acidity that carries the complex fruit and oak flavours to a long aftertaste. Probably best between 2004 and 2009.

Excellent with sushi, rich fish and seafood dishes, most white meats or on its own.

ANALYSIS

ALC: 13.98%      SUGAR: 2.2      TA: 6.4      pH: 3.36      VA: 0.60      SO2: 30 & 107

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