DE TRAFFORD CHENIN BLANC 2017
Label by Rita Trafford: "Summer Essence" Collection Silk Scarf.
1 block (Helderzicht) 33 year old bush vines. Foothills of the Helderberg 4km from False Bay. Sandy, gravelly Escourt soil. Lightly irrigated at veraison. Yield 5 tons/ha.
1 block (Skilpadvlei) 35 year old bush vines. Foothills of the Helderberg 6km from False Bay. Gravelly clay, decomposed granite soil. Yield 6 tons/ha.
1 block (Keermont) 11 year old vines on 6 wire vertical trellis. Deep red hutton soil with good moisture retention. Lightly irrigated at veraison. Yield 9 tons/ha.
An exceptional vintage. After the hot and dry 2016 season and a dry and warm autumn, we feared insufficient build-up of reserves in the vines and possible uneven budbreak, but we had a good normal wet and cold winter and the sudden warm weather in spring helped to provide more even budbreak than expected. The growing season was quite dry and mild with moderate to lower vigour and healthy growth, producing a slightly smaller crop than usual with small berries. We had ideal cooler weather during harvest time with cool nights and no substantial heatwaves. We picked some of our Chenin just before a heavy downpour at the end of January, but the balance enjoyed the moisture relief, which we picked over the following 3 weeks.
An elegant, promising vintage, similar to 2007.
Grapes lightly crushed and allowed about 3 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 9 months with lees stirred as necessary to complete fermentation. 15% new French oak used. No malolactic fermentation. Lightly fined with bentonite – a natural clay. Bottled unfiltered on the property by hand.
Bottling date: 18/12/2017 (840 x 12 x 750ml; 60 x 1,5L; 18 x 3L)
Attractive pale yellow colour. Fresh dusty apricot and ripe melon on the nose at first with lemon, honey and floral notes. Soft though elegantly textured and complex palate with a moderately rich mid palate and a long, creamy finish. Excellent with rich fish, seafood and sushi.
Already showing a lot of complexity - drink now to 2025.
ALC. 13.35 % SUGAR: 2.3g/l TA: 4.8g/l pH: 3.44 VA: 0.55g/l SO2: 11 free & 62 total