The big release 2018
The De Trafford team have been carefully hand labelling, wrapping and packaging a wonderful collection of wines for you this winter. Every time it rains (and thankfully we've had plenty!), it's down to the cellar and when the beautiful winter sun comes out we're out in the vineyard pruning and fussing about!
A DOUBLE DOSE OF CHENIN BLANC 2017
This must be the first time we've released two Chenin Blancs at the same time and from the stunning 2017 vintage to boot! Our regular (flagship) De Trafford Chenin is from our usual mix of vineyard blocks in Stellenbosch. The label once again features one of Rita's beautiful silk scarves.
We also produced a once-off Old Vines Chenin Blanc from the Coastal Region using a few barrels from a single vineyard in the S.W. corner of the Paarl region. (More Stellenbosch / Swartland really, which is why we opted for the broader Coastal Region identity). A fantastic 56 year old vineyard producing something fine and unique and we used our daughter's matric artwork for the one-of-a-kind label.
2013 was a difficult vintage for us with intense late spring winds blowing half our fruit and leaves off the vines. Ultra-low yields and half our usual production. The structure is a little more austere than usual and shows a slightly more Rhone like flavour profile. It reminds me a bit of the 1997, which is still drinking pretty well, so it'll be interesting to watch its progress over the next 20 years.
CABERNET FRANC 2014
We had more rain than usual during the growing season with a bit more growth and production in 2014 resulting in a little less concentration and a softer more Bordeaux like character. Our Cabernet Franc showcases this in a positive way with fine tannins, restrained herbaceous character, lovely red berry fruit and a touch of spice. About 50% from a beautiful high, cool SW slope on neighbouring Keermont vineyard and the balance from our "393" vineyard, plus a splash of Merlot.
ELEVATION 393 2012
Only the best barrels from our Elevation 393 vineyard are selected for our flagship estate wine, De Trafford Elevation 2012 is also a vintage that has exceeded expectations. This is a wine to taste carefully, it's not obvious, but very fine and complex. Perhaps the finest Elevation we’ve released yet. It may not have the power and ageability of 2009, but will offer great pleasure over the next 10 years or more.
I'm excited about this vintage Straw Wine. Perhaps our best since 2009 and 2001! Only 2 barrels produced. Liquid gold.