De Trafford Vin De Paille 2007

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

VINEYARD BLOCKS

1 block ( Keerweder ) 35 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 ) 21 & 23 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 ) 23 year old bush vines on nearby north facing deep red Hutton soil with good moisture retention. Unirrigated. Yield 6 tons/ha.

VINTAGE CONDITIONS

Typical cold, wet winter followed by a normal growing season with enough rain and warm weather to produce good, balanced growth. The Chenin Blanc seemed to relish the knife-edge harvest conditions with small heatwaves alternating with short, wet, cold spells. (It was difficult to produce Straw Wine in these conditions, so we produced more of the dry Chenin Blanc). Despite the seemingly favourable conditions, we had practically no botrytis rot – in part due to our very open canopies

Harvest date: 2/2/2007 – 23/2/2007 @ 22.5 – 24.8° B

Reharvested from racks: 2/3/2007 –16/3/2007 @ 43 – 48° 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 22 months using mostly new 225L French oak barrels. Racked while in barrel to remove heavy sediment and lightly bentonite fined. The VA was reduced by about 20%.

Bottling date: 19/12/08. Production: 189 cases (6 x 375 ml)

TASTING NOTES

Attractive deep yellow gold colour. Great intensity and sweetness. Dried apricot, nuts, honey and burnt treacle. The palate is intensely sweet yet not cloying, fresh and lively yet richly oxidative with a long clean and complex finish. This vintage is best as a sweet treat on its own after a fine meal (or upgrade an ordinary meal!). A rewarding challenge to match with desserts!

ANALYSIS

Alc. 10.09  Sug. 280.9  TA 5.4  pH 4.00  VA 1.54  SO2 6free & 138total

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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