De Trafford Chenin Blanc 2006

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 2 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 6 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 6 tons / ha.

VINTAGE CONDITIONS

Slighly above average rainfall in winter followed by a hot dry spring and trouble-free growing season. A little rain delayed harvest slightly, but refreshed the struggling vines without causing much botrytis. The small berries and moderate ripening period produced concentrated grapes with lots of flavour and sugar. The grapes were picked in the cool mornings @ 22 – 25º Balling.

Harvest dates: 14 / 2 / 06 – 10 / 3 / 06

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.
18% new oak used – 2/3 French, 1/3 American. Most barrels did not go through malolactic fermentation.
Bottled on the property by hand with a light bentonite fining.

Bottling date : 10 / 11 / 06. (580 x 12 x 750ml produced)

TASTING NOTES

An appealing pale yellow colour.

The nose shows damp hay, rich apricot and honey, subtle oak and a complex mineral character. The palate is rich and full bodied with a long finish and hint of sweetness. Probably best between 2007 and 2010.

Extremely versatile food wine – excellent with lightly spicy Thai style dishes, seafood and most white meats or on its own.

ANALYSIS

ALC: 15.01%      SUGAR: 3.2      TA 5.1      pH: 3.60      VA: 0.52      SO2: 18free & 97total 

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