De Trafford Chenin Blanc 2005

VINEYARD BLOCKS

2 blocks ( Keerweder ) 33 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 ) 19 & 21 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 5 tons / ha. Lightly irrigated just after veraison.

1 block ( Waterkloof ) 22 year old bush vines on nearby north facing deep red Hutton soil with good moisture retention. Unirrigated. Yield 8 tons / ha.

VINTAGE CONDITIONS

A late winter which delayed budding by about 2 weeks. Cool spring / early summer but a relatively trouble-free growing season. A single extremely hot day in January caused a lot of sunburn, especially in the Keermont vineyard. This significantly reduced the harvest but had little effect on quality. The delayed harvest gave us rich intense fruit from the earlier ripening Post House vineyard and a more subtle mineral character from the much later Keermont vineyard.

The grapes were picked in the cool mornings @ 22 – 23.8º Balling.

Harvest dates: 2 / 2 / 05 – 28 / 2 / 05

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 and a few 700 l casks for 8 months with lees stirred 1 – 2 times a month initially.
15% 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 : 21 / 11 / 05.

TASTING NOTES

An appealing pale yellow colour.

The nose shows damp hay, rich apricot and creamed honey fruit, subtle oak and a complex mineral character. The palate is rich and full bodied with a touch of sugar. A little reductive shortly after bottling, but opens up quickly with air. Probably best between 2006 and 2009.

Excellent with lightly spicy Thai style dishes, seafood and most white meats or on its own.

ANALYSIS

ALC: 14.29%     SUGAR: 4.6      TA: 5.4      pH: 3.54      VA 0.58      SO2: 46 & 124

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