De Trafford Chenin Blanc 2007

Label painting by Rita Trafford titled ” Seis Pajaros”.

VINEYARD BLOCKS

2 blocks ( Keerweder ) 35 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 ) 21 & 23 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 ) 24 year old bush vines on nearby north facing deep red Hutton soil with good moisture retention. Unirrigated. Yield 6 tons / ha.

VINTAGE CONDITIONS

Typical cold, wet winter followed by a normal growing season with enough rain and warm weather to produce good, balanced growth. The Chenin Blanc seemed to relish the knife – edge harvest conditions with small heatwaves alternating with short, wet, cold spells. (It was difficult to produce Straw Wine in these conditions, so more energy went into producing more of this dry wine). Despite the seemingly favourable conditions, we had practically no botrytis rot – in part due to our very open canopies. The grapes were picked in the cool mornings @ 22.5 – 24.8º Balling.

Harvest dates: 2 / 2 / 07 – 12 / 3 / 07

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 7 to 8 months with lees stirred 1 – 2 times a month initially. Lightly fined with bentonite – a natural clay.
20% new oak used – 80% French, 20% American.
No malolactic fermentation.
Bottled unfiltered on the property by hand.

Bottling date: 10 / 10 / 07. (900 x 12 x 750ml produced)

TASTING NOTES

An appealing pale yellow colour.

The nose is quite subtle at first, evolving in the glass to show damp hay, rich apricot and honey, noticeable, but well integrated oak and a complex mineral character. The palate is rich and full -bodied, yet quite elegant with a long finish and attractive creamy texture from long lees contact. Probably best between 2008 and 2012.

Extremely versatile food wine – excellent with rich fish dishes, sushi and other seafood as well as most subtle white meats or simply on its own.

ANALYSIS

ALC: 14.83%      SUGAR: 1.9      TA: 5.3      pH: 3.50      VA: 0.48      SO2: 30free & 85total

 

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