De Trafford Vin de Paille 2011

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

VINEYARD BLOCKS
2 blocks ( Keerweder ) 39 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 3 tons / ha.
2 blocks ( Post House ) 25 & 26 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 and Escourt soil. Yield 6 tons / ha. Lightly irrigated at veraison.
1 block ( Helderzicht ) 27 year old bush vines. Foothills of the Helderberg 4km from False Bay. Sandy, gravelly Escourt soil. Unirrigated. Yield 8 tons / ha.

VINTAGE CONDITIONS
We had a late 2010 winter with a little below average rainfall, but cold enough in May to ensure even bud-break in spring. The growing season was cool with some regular rainfall, which made up for the drier winter. Flowering was good and although December was very windy (most in 42 years), we had no damage and a normal healthy crop of very good quality. The harvest period was very hot and dry, but we managed to get all the grapes onto the racks in the cool mornings at optimum ripeness – @ 21.8°B to 25.1°B
Harvest Dates: 1/2/11 – 28/2/11.

PRODUCTION
The grapes were picked at optimum ripeness and laid out on drying racks in 70% shade for about 3 weeks. This allows the grapes to concentrate sugars, acids and flavours, before re-harvesting in the cool mornings. Fermented with natural yeasts and matured for 36 months using 50% new 225L French oak barrels. Racked while in barrel to remove heavy sediment and lightly bentonite fined.
Bottling date: 15/05/14. Production: 290 cases (6 x 375 ml)

TASTING NOTES
Attractive bright gold colour. Great intensity and sweetness – one of our richest vintages. Dried apricot and lemon skin, some flintiness, but mostly complex honey and treacle. The palate is intensely sweet yet not cloying, fresh and lively with an oxidative complexity and a long clean finish. This vintage is best as a sweet treat on its own after a meal. A rewarding challenge to match with desserts!

ANALYSIS
Alc. 8.87 Sug. 294 TA 5.5 pH 3.82 VA 1.17 SO2 7free & 90total

These are naturally made, living wines which may deposit a sediment and / or tartrate crystals. Keep below 18°C to avoid the possibility of re-fermentation.

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