De TraffordChenin Blanc 2018
Label by Rita Trafford: "The Softest of Whispers " Silk Scarf.
1 block (Helderzicht) 34 year old bush vines. Foothills of the Helderberg 4km from False Bay. Sandy, gravelly Escourt soil. Lightly irrigated at veraison. Yield 4 tons/ha. (Sadly now uprooted, but we've found a great alternative – watch this space!)
1 block (Keermont) 12 year old vines on 6 wire vertical trellis. Deep red hutton soil with good moisture retention. Lightly irrigated at veraison. Yield 7 tons/ha.
1 block (Post House) 34 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 4 tons/ha. Lightly irrigated at veraison.
Another excellent vintage to follow 2017 after 2 years of drought. Winter started a bit late, but was cold enough to get dormancy off to a good start. Bud break started late as winter dragged on into September. The early growing season was windy with cold and wet periods leading to uneven flowering and berry set resulting in lower yields. The rest of the growing season was dry and hot followed by much cooler temperatures in February with especially cool nights. Disease pressure was very low and the late start to harvest we had healthy grapes with small bunches and small berries. Harvest a little later than usual with very little rain problems. Similar, elegant vintage to 2017 with a lower acidity, a little more fruit in relation to minerality.
Grapes lightly crushed and allowed about 2 hours skin contact before gently pressing in a traditional basket press. Sulphur added and natural settling allowed for 2 days before
100 % barrel fermentation with natural yeasts. All the wine was fermented and matured in 225ℓ, 400ℓ and a few 700ℓ casks for 10 months with lees stirred as necessary to complete fermentation. 10% new French oak used. Partial malolactic fermentation. Lightly fined with bentonite – a natural clay. Bottled unfiltered on the property by hand.
Bottling date: 31/1/2019 (560 x 12 x 750ml; 150 x 1,5L; 12 x 3L)
Straw yellow colour. Peach, apricot and quince nose with lemon, honey and floral aspects complimenting. Fruit a little more expressive than most of our previous vintages. A hint of mint and nettles emerges with time in the glass too. Soft, easy drinking, but substantial palate with a nice grippiness towards the finish. Dusty apricot flavours typical of our Chenins more noticeable on the palate, as well as the usual long, elegant finish. Excellent with most fish dishes, shellfish and sushi.
Drink now to 2025.
ALC. 13.63 % SUGAR: 2.9g/l TA: 4.6g/l pH: 3.44 VA: 0.73 g/l SO2:3 free & 71 total