De Trafford Vin De Paille 2006

The first of its kind in South Africa. 
This is now our tenth year of producing this treasured wine.

VINEYARD BLOCKS

1 block ( Keerweder ) 34 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 2 tons / ha.
2 blocks ( Post House ) 20 & 22 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 6 tons / ha. Lightly irrigated to relieve drought stress.
1 block ( Waterkloof ) 22 year old bush vines on nearby north facing deep red Hutton soil with good moisture retention.  Unirrigated. Yield 6 tons/ha. 

VINTAGE CONDITIONS

Slightly above average rainfall in winter followed by a hot dry spring and trouble-free growing season.  A little rain delayed harvest slightly, but refreshed the struggling vines without causing much botrytis.  The small berries and moderate ripening period produced concentrated grapes with lots of flavour and sugar.  The grapes were picked in the cool mornings and laid out to dry on the racks in ideal dry conditions.

Harvest date:  7/2/2006 – 16/3/2006 @ 22.8 – 25° B

Reharvested from racks: 27/2/2006 –28/3/2005 @ 42 – 46° B

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 21 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. 15% 2007 included. The VA of the 2007 portion was reduced by about 20%.

 Bottling date: 10/1/08.  Production: 538 cases (6 x 375 ml)

TASTING NOTES

Attractive yellow gold colour.  Quite closed shortly after bottling, but with great intensity. A little more lime/lemon character together with the usual dried apricot, nuts, honey and buttered toast. The palate is intensely sweet yet not cloying, fresh and lively yet richly oxidative with a long clean and complex finish. Delicious with good patés, biscotti and various hard cheeses. A rewarding challenge to match with desserts!

ANALYSIS

Alc. 12.0     Sug.  226.8     TA  6.7    pH 3.84     VA  1.45   SO2 30free & 246total

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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