De Trafford Chenin Blanc 2009

Label painting by Rita Trafford titled “You can Stand under My Umbrella”.

 VINEYARD BLOCKS 

2 blocks ( Keerweder ) 37 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 ) 23 & 25 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 7 tons / ha. Lightly irrigated just after veraison.

1 block ( Bredell ) 25 year old bush vines.  Foothills of the Helderberg 4km from False Bay. Sandy, gravelly Escourt soil.   Unirrigated. Yield 6 tons / ha.

1 block (Klein Helderberg) 45 year old bush vines. Foothills of the Helderberg, 6km from False Bay. S.W. facing slope. Sandy; gravelly topsoil with clay gravel subsoil. Unirrigated Yield 5 tons / ha 

VINTAGE CONDITIONS 

Typical cold, wet winter followed by an excellent growing season with above average rainfall, but cooler temperatures producing good, but not excessive growth. A particularly healthy year with very little disease pressure. Although the ripening period was warm to hot, there were very few heat spikes until late February, early March. The harvest was preceded by a month long fire which didn’t affect the grapes, but certainly our nerves!

The grapes were picked in the cool mornings @ 21.3 – 24.8º Balling.

Harvest dates: 11 / 2 / 09 – 19 / 3 / 09 

PRODUCTION

Grapes lightly crushed and allowed 3 hours skin contact (a long breakfast!) before gently pressing in a traditional basket press. Sulphur added and natural settling allowed for 2 days before

100 % barrel fermentation with natural yeasts. A few barrels struggled to complete fermentation and were left for a later reserve bottling. All the wine was kept in 225l and a few 700l casks for 9 months with lees stirred 1 – 2 times a month initially. Lightly fined with bentonite – a natural clay.

20% new French oak used No malolactic fermentation. Bottled unfiltered on the property by hand.

Bottling date: 22 / 12 / 08. (620 x 12 x 750ml)

TASTING NOTES

An appealing pale yellow colour.The nose is quite closed showing mostly nuts, hay and minerals with a hint of spicy oak.  Needs a little air to bring out the inherent richness on the palate.  Nicely structured with some barrel aged fatness complimenting the racy minerality. A long, clean, dry finish.  

Probably best between 2011 and 2015.

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. 14.92 vol%     SUGAR: 2.3g/l      TA: 4.9g       pH: 3.81       VA: 0.60g/l       SO2:  34 / 81 mg/l

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