De Trafford Chenin Blanc Reserve 2009

(17 months in barrels)
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 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 allowed to finish over the following summer for this reserve bottling. Time in casks (225l  and 700l ) 17 months. Lightly fined with bentonite – a natural clay.

20% new French oak used. Partial malolactic fermentation. Bottled unfiltered on the property by hand.

Bottling date: 5 / 8 / 10. (266 x 12 x 750ml)

TASTING NOTES

An appealing pale yellow colour.The nose shows dried apricots, honey, nuts and damp hay with a hint of spicy oak. Shows wonderful nutty richness without losing fruit core, developing with great interest in the glass. More Rhone Valley than Loire with thick appealing texture. A long, clean, dry finish.  

Probably best between 2011 and 2015. Versatile food wine – excellent with rich fish and seafood dishes, as well as most subtle white meats or simply on its own. 18 & 131g/l

ANALYSIS

ALC. 14.65vol%     SUGAR: 3.2g/l     TA: 4.7g     pH: 3.48     VA: 0.84g/l     SO2:  18 & 131g/l      

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