De Trafford Reserve Chenin Blanc 2002

VINEYARD BLOCKS

1 block ( Keerweder ) 30 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 4 tons / hectare.

2 blocks ( Post House ) 16 & 18 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 soil. Yield 5 tons / hectare. No irrigation necessary for 2002.

VINTAGE CONDITIONS

The growing season was particularly difficult, with early season downy mildew problems. The cool, wet weather leading up to the harvest favoured the development of botrytis, which adds to the wines richness and complexity.

The grapes were picked in the cool mornings @ 22 – 24 degrees balling.

Harvest dates: 8 / 2 / 02 – 11 / 3 / 02

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 kept in 225 l casks for 12 months with lees stirred 1 – 2 times a month initially.

25% new oak used – mostly American. The cool conditions during the growing season produced grapes with high natural acidity.
1/3 of the barrels were encouraged to go through malolactic fermentation to reduce this a little.

Bottled unfiltered on the property by hand with only a light bentonite fining.

Bottling date : 07 / 03 / 03. Only 75 cases produced.

TASTING NOTES

An appealing light yellow colour – slightly darker than usual due to botrytis influence.

The nose shows nutty, vanilla oak with apricot/citrus fruit core and an intiguing mineral, hay and honey character.
The palate is rich and full bodied with a mouthwatering thread of acidity. The oak flavours dominate at this stage with an intense fruit core that continues to a long aftertaste.

Probably best between 2004 and 2007. Excellent with sushi, rich fish and seafood dishes, most white meats or on its own.

ANALYSIS

ALC: 13.67%      SUGAR: 2.7      TA 7.1      pH: 3.33      VA: 0.56      SO2: 15 & 121

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