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De Trafford Straw Wine 2012

( VIN DE PAILLE – CHENIN BLANC )

 

The first of its kind in South Africa. 

This is now our sixteenth year of producing this treasured wine.

Vineyard Blocks

2 blocks ( Keerweder ) 40 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 ) 26 & 27 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 ( Helderzicht ) 28 year old bush vines.  Foothills of the Helderberg 4km from False Bay. Sandy, gravelly Escourt soil.   Yield 7 tons / ha. 

Vintage Conditions

Winter 2011 was colder than usual, but with average rainfall resulting in excellent, even bud-break. We had good growth in spring, but poor weather (cold and rain) over the flowering period resulting in uneven flowering and berry set. January was exceptionally hot, which really jolted the vines into ripeness. The ripening period of February and March was much cooler and close to perfect with little rain and no rot. We started harvesting some Chenin 2/2/12 and continued until 6/3/12 @ 21°B to 23.5°B.

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 25 months using 50% new 225L French oak barrels. Racked while in barrel to remove heavy sediment and lightly bentonite fined.

Bottling date: 14/05/14.  Production: 293 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 unashamedly sweet, yet fresh and lively with an oxidative complexity and a long clean finish. Best as a sweet treat on its own after a meal or with hard cheese like Conte'. A rewarding challenge to match with desserts!

Analysis

Alc. 11.05           Sug.  231          TA  5.3            pH 3.93           VA  1.26           SO2 8free & 84total

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.