DE TRAFFORD CHENIN BLANC 2015

Label painting by Rita Trafford titled: “The Patterns of Ravens in my Sleep”.

VINEYARD BLOCKS
1 block (Helderzicht) 31 year old bush vines. Foothills of the Helderberg 4km from False Bay. Sandy, gravelly Escourt soil. Lightly irrigated at veraison. Yield 5 tons/ha.
1 block (Lanrust) 35 year old bush vines. Foothills of the Helderberg 6km from False Bay. Sandy, gravelly Escourt soil. Lightly irrigated at veraison. Yield 6 tons/ha.
1 block (Keermont) 9 year old vines on 6 wire vertical trellis. Deep red hutton soil with good moisture retention. Lightly irrigated at veraison. Yield 7 tons/ha.

VINTAGE CONDITIONS
Our earliest harvest ever, starting on 23 January, though this was surpassed in 2016 by one day (the same block picked at the same sugar level of 22,6 brix). Good post 2014 harvest rains and an early cold, wet winter meant a good build-up of reserves and dormancy. Warm weather in August resulted in early and importantly even bud-break. The warm, dry windy summer kept growth moderate and sped up ripening by about 2 weeks, as well as ensuring no rot or other health problems. Although fertility was good, bunches and berries were smaller than usual, contributing to the lower yield. The summer was warm to hot, but there were no real heatwaves during the critical ripening period, which with lower temperatures at night, ensured excellent flavour development and good pH and acidity. Despite such an early harvest, 2015 is emerging as one of the best ever harvests.

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. All the wine was kept in 225L and a few 700L casks for 9 months with lees stirred 1 – 2 times a month initially. 15% new French oak used. No malolactic fermentation. Lightly fined with bentonite – a natural clay. Bottled unfiltered on the property by hand.
Bottling date: 21/12/2015 (698 x 12 x 750ml; 150 x 1,5L; 12 x 3L)

TASTING NOTES
Attractive pale yellow colour. Fresh dusty apricot on the nose at first with ripe melon, lemon, honey, butter and roasted nuts. Freshness and elegance hiding real depth and richness. A lively, but still closed palate with dusty apricots, nuts, lemon and honey showing on a moderately rich mid-palate and a long dry, nutty finish. Excellent with rich fish, seafood and sushi.
Already showing a lot of complexity – drink now to 2024. .

ANALYSIS
ALC. 13.88 % SUGAR: 2.0g/l TA: 5.6g/l pH: 3.44 VA: 0.45g/l SO2: 16 free & 96 total

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