De Trafford, Chenin Blanc 2019
David Trafford, owner and winemaker, enjoyed a successful career as an architect before changing direction and pursuing his passion for winemaking. His wife, Rita, is a qualified chef and artist. Each of the De Trafford labels is designed by one of the dynamic pair.
This Chenin Blanc is made from grapes sourced from four different plots; grown on vines ranging between thirteen and thirty-six years old, offering immense purity and concentration in the berries.
The fruit is processed using a traditional basket-press, 100% barrel fermented, and then matured in French oak for 10 months, along with other classic winemaking techniques, to enhance texture and complexity.
This wine screams of minerality and freshness. Expect peach and apricot on the nose, with lemon and honey driving the palate, and chamomile on the finish.
Delicate and precise. Made with minimal intervention and ‘mindful winemaking’, it’s a wine that takes on a sense of place, created at altitude in the mountains of Stellenbosch.
VINEYARD BLOCKS 2 blocks 34 & 36 year old bush vines in the Bottelary Hills. Deep gravelly Tukulu and Escourt soil with 15 to 25% clay. Lightly irrigated at veraison. Yield 8 tons/ha. 1 block (Keermont) 13 year old vines on 6 wire vertical trellis. Deep red hutton soil with good moisture retention. Lightly irrigated at veraison. Yield 9 tons/ha. 1 block (Post House) 34 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.
Winter rainfall was higher than previous two vintages, but about average and slightly warmer than average. Bud break was rather uneven and required additional attention to foliage management during the growing period. A relatively cool wet spring, which continued throughout much of the growing season. The high fungal pressure required adhering diligently to a suitable spray programme throughout the season. Regular rainfall and low day and night temperatures during the ripening period meant there was no water stress and ripening was gentle and slow. A challenging, but exciting vintage with good acidity and a more elegant style. Harvest date: 31/1/19 to 19/2/19 @ 20,6 – 24,5 balling.
Grapes lightly crushed and allowed about 2 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 700ℓ casks for 10 months with lees stirred as necessary to complete fermentation. 10% new French oak used. Partial malolactic fermentation. Lightly fined with bentonite – a natural clay. Bottled unfiltered on the property by hand. Bottling date: 13/2/2020 (799 x 12 x 750ml; 200 x 1,5L)
TASTING NOTES Straw yellow colour. Peach and apricot nose with lemon, honey and floral aspects complimenting. A little less expressive than the 2018 at this stage in a more typical, restrained De Trafford style. Complex, substantial palate. Fresh, elegant and restrained, but with power and length. Opens up with time in the glass or a decant. Excellent with most fish dishes, shellfish and sushi. Drink now to 2029.’
Try it with sushi, or grilled prawns with lemon and butter.
Chenin Blanc’s high acidity is built to complement clean fresh flavours, or cut through rich, fatty foods. Versatile and delicious.