de Trafford Straw Wine
2004 Chenin Blanc


Vineyard: Keerveder is high in altitude on a cool South Western slope and Post house is on the lower slopes of the Helderberg, 8 km from the cooling influence of the sea.
Soil Type: The Keerveder vineyard is made of deep red Hutton soil and the Post House vineyard Gravelly Hutton / Estcourt soils.
Vine Age: Keerweder 32 year old vines and Post House 18 and 20.
Irrigation: No irrigation
Harvest Date: 11th of February to the 19th of March 2004.
Yield: 3 and 6.


The first of its kind in South Africa.
It seems like just yesterday that de Trafford encouraged the South African Wine and Spirit Board to form this entirely new category “Wine from naturally dried grapes" but this is now their eighth year of production.

The warm, dry conditions produced a small crop of excellent quality. These conditions continued during the drying process, but due to the late season with shorter days and pending autumn rains the grapes didn’t attain the usual incredible sweetness and concentration.

The grapes were picked at optimum ripeness and laid out on drying racks in 70% shade for 3 weeks. This allows the grapes to concentrate sugars, acids and flavours, before reharvesting in the cool mornings.
Fermented with natural yeasts and matured for 18 months using mostly new 225 l oak barrels – 60% French and 40% American – for the first year and older for the second year.
Racked while in barrel to remove heavy sediment and lightly bentonite fined before bottling unfiltered.
Bottled on the 9th of September 2005.
Total production: 560 cases (6 x 375 ml)

These are naturally made, living wines which may deposit a sediment and / or tartrate crystals – a healthy sign of a handcrafted wine.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Attractive yellow gold color.
Nose: Complex marzipan, burnt honey and dusty dried apricot nose.
Palate: The palate is sweet and concentrated (though less than previous vintages) with nice acidity and oak tannins to compliment and deliver a long, lingering finish.
Other: This rather more food friendly than the last few vintages. Delicious with biscotti, various cheeses and nuts. Compliments slightly tart fruit desserts and good patés beautifully.

Chemical Analysis:

Alc (%): 16.3
RS (g/l): 111
TA (g/l): 7.5
pH: 3.9
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