De Trafford Vin De Paille 2003

The first of its kind in South Africa. It seems like just yesterday we encouraged the Wine and Spirit Board to form this entirely new category “Wine from naturally dried grapes” but this is now our seventh year of production and possibly the best yet!

VINEYARD BLOCKS

1 block ( Keerweder ) 31 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 5 tons / hectare. 2 blocks ( Post House ) 17 & 19 year old vines on a 6 wire trellis with moveable foliage wires. Lower slopes of the Helderberg, 8 km from the cooling influence of the sea. Gravelly Hutton / Estcourt soils. Yield 9 tons / hectare. Lightly irrigated to relieve drought stress.

 VINTAGE CONDITIONS

An ideal vintage for this style of wine. The warm, dry conditions produced a small crop of excellent quality. These conditions continued during the drying process producing very sweet, concentrated grapes. Harvest date: 4 / 2 / 2003 – 7 / 3 / 2003 @ 22 – 24° balling

PRODUCTION

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 17 months using mostly new 225 l oak barrels – 60% French and 40% American. Racked while in barrel to remove heavy sediment and lightly bentonite fined before bottling unfiltered. Bottling date : 16 / 8 / 04. Production: 560 cases (6 x 375 ml)

TASTING NOTES

Attractive deep yellow colour. Complex marzipan, honey, dried apricot and citrus nose. The palate is sweet and concentrated with just enough acidity and oak tannins 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 patés beautifully.

ANALYSIS

Alc.13.7 Sug. 192.0 TA 7.3 pH 3.62 VA 1.68 SO2 17/180 These are naturally made, living wines which may deposit a sediment and / or tartrate crystals – a healthy sign of a handcrafted wine.

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