De Trafford Straw Wine 2010
( VIN DE PAILLE – CHENIN BLANC )
The first of its kind in South Africa.
This is now our fourteenth year of producing this treasured wine.
2 blocks ( Keerweder ) 38 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 ) 24 & 25 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.
1 block ( Bredell ) 26 year old bush vines. Foothills of the Helderberg 4km from False Bay. Sandy, gravelly Escourt soil. Unirrigated. Yield 5 tons / ha.
A cool, overcast, rainy spring led to poor fruit set and smaller looser bunches. Very strong winds caused some physical damage and also contributed to reducing the size of the crop. The small crop contributed to faster ripening and the first grapes being picked very ripe. A hot, dry harvest, but most of our Chenin was picked before the mid-March heat wave, preserving complexity. The weather was hot and dry while most of the grapes were on the drying racks which was ideal.
Harvest date: 4/2/2010 – 18/2/2010 @ 22 – 24° B
Re-harvested from racks: 26/2/2010 – 9/3/2010 @ 40 - 49° B
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 20 months using 50% new 225L French oak barrels. Racked while in barrel to remove heavy sediment and lightly bentonite fined.
Bottling date: 23/11/11. Production: 180 cases (6 x 375 ml)
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!
Alc. 10.92 Sug. 250 TA 6.5 pH 3.99 VA 1.33 SO2 8free & 135total
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.