de Trafford Chenin Blanc
2008 Chenin Blanc


Vineyard: 2 blocks from Keerweder cool and high altitude, 2 blocks Post House lower slopes of the Helderberg & 1 block Bredell bushvines from foothills of the Helderberg, 4 km from False Bay.
Soil Type: Keerweder deept red hutton, Post House Gravelly Hutton and Escourt soil, Bredell sandy, Gravelly Escourt soil.
Vine Age: Keerweder 36, Post House 22 & 24 & Bredell 24 year old vines.
Irrigation: Lightly irrigated
Harvest Date: From the 5th of February to the 8th of March.
Yield: Keerweder 3 t/ha, Post House 6 t/ha & Bredell 7 t/ha.


Typical cold, wet winter followed by a normal growing season with enough rain and warm weather to produce good, balanced growth. As in 2007, the Chenin Blanc seemed to relish the knife - edge harvest conditions with small heatwaves alternating with wet, cold spells. Unlike 2007, de Trafford had quite a bit of botrytis, especially in the later Keerweder blocks. The grapes were picked in the cool mornings @ 21.7 – 24.5º Balling.
Grapes lightly crushed and allowed 3 hours skin contact (a long breakfast!) before gently pressing in a traditional basket press. Sulfur added and natural settling allowed for 2 days before 100 % barrel fermentation with natural yeasts.
All the wine was kept in 225 liters and a few 700 liters casks for 7 to 8 months with lees stirred 1 - 2 times a month initially. Lightly fined with bentonite – a natural clay.
20% new oak used – 80% French, 20% American. No malolactic fermentation.
Bottled unfiltered on the property by hand.
Bottling date: 10-14- 08.

Tasting Notes:

Color: An appealing pale yellow color.
Nose: The nose is a little closed at first, evolving in the glass to show a honeyed botrytis character with baked apple, wet stones, damp hay and a hint of spicy oak.
Palate: Needs a little air to bring out the inherent richness on the palate. Nicely structured with a balance between the botrytis richness and the racy minerality. A long clean finish. Probably best between 2010 and 2015.
Other: Extremely versatile food wine - excellent with rich fish dishes, sushi and other seafood as well as most subtle white meats or simply on its own.

Chemical Analysis:

Alc (%): 14.56
RS (g/l): 2.1
TA (g/l): 6.4
pH: 3.5
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