De Trafford Vin De Paille 1999
( CHENIN BLANC )
The third vintage to be released under the entirely new category "Wine from naturally dried grapes", recently formed by the Wine and Spirit Board specifically to accommodate this wine and others to follow.
1 block ( Keerweder ) 27 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 7 tons / hectare.
2 blocks ( Post House ) 13 & 15 year old vines on a 4 wire trellis with moveable foliage wires. Lower slopes of the Helderberg, 8 km from the cooling influence of the sea. Gravelly Hutton soil. Yield 5 & 10 tons / hectare. Lightly irrigated to releave drought and heat stress.
Another ideal vintage for this style of wine. The warm, dry conditions produced a small crop of excellent quality. These conditions continued during the drying process producing very sweet, concentrated grapes.
Harvest date: 7 / 2 / 99 – 29 / 2 / 99 @ 22 – 23.5° balling
The grapes were picked at optimum ripeness ( approx. 25 deg. balling ) and laid out on drying racks in 80% shade for 3 weeks. This allows the grapes to concentrate sugars, acids and flavours, before reharvesting in the cool mornings.
Matured for one year using 3 French and 2 American new 225 l oak barrels.
Racked while in barrel to remove heavy sediment and lightly bentonite fined before bottling unfiltered. Bottling date : 18 / 4 / 00
Attractive deep yellow colour. Intense honey, apricot, nuts and citrus nose.
The palate is sweet and concentrated with just enough acidity and oak tannins to compliment and deliver a long, lingering finish.
This wine is a dessert all on its own - a real treat after the meal. Delicious with biscotti and various nuts. Compliments slightly tart fruit desserts and good pate's beautifully.
Alc.13.58 Sug. 175.0 TA 6.8 pH 3.98 VA 1.53 SO2 26/219