De Trafford Vin de Paille 2002
The first of its kind in South Africa. The sixth vintage to be released under the entirely new category “Wine from naturally dried grapes”, recently formed by the Wine and Spirit Board specifically to accommodate this wine and others to follow.
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.
The growing season was particularly difficult, with early season downy mildew problems. The cool wet weather leading up to harvest favoured the development of botrytis, most of which had to be removed. We had to do a lot of sorting to eventually end up with only three barrels.
Harvest date: 8 / 2 / 2002 – 5 / 3 / 2002 @ 21.5 – 23° Balling
The grapes were picked at optimum ripeness and laid out on drying racks in 70% shade for 3 weeks. This allows the grapes to concentrate sugars, acids and flavours, before reharvesting in the cool mornings. Fermented with natural yeasts and matured for 19 months using mostly new 225 l oak barrels – 50% French and 50% American. Racked while in barrel to remove heavy sediment and lightly bentonite fined before bottling unfiltered.
Bottling date : 6 / 11 / 03. Production: 220 cases (6 x 375 ml)
Attractive deep yellow colour. Intense honey, apricot, nuts and balsamic nose. The palate is sweet and concentrated with just enough acidity, oak tannins and oxidative development to compliment and deliver a long, lingering finish.
This wine is a dessert all on its own – a real treat after the meal. Delicious with biscotti and various nuts. Compliments slightly tart fruit desserts and good pate’s beautifully.
Alc.10.1 Sugar 286.0 TA 8.6 pH 3.81 VA 1.80 SO2 16 & 212
These are naturally made, living wines which may deposit a sediment – a healthy sign of a handcrafted wine.