3 V | 2008 | 2007 | ARCHIVE

De Trafford Straw Wine
2007 Chenin Blanc


Vineyard: 1 block Keerweder neighbouring cool high altitude south western slope, 2 blocks Post House lower slopes of the Helderberg, 8 km from the cooling influence of the sea & 1 block Waterkloof north facing slope.
Soil Type: Keewerder deep red Hutton soil with good moisture retention, Post House Gravelly Hutton / Estcourt soils, Waterkloof red Hutton soil with good moisture retention.
Vine Age: Keerweder 35, Post House 21 & 23 and Waterkloof ) 23 year old bush vines.
Irrigation: No irrigation
Harvest Date: 2-23 February.
Yield: Keerwerder 2 t/ha, Post House 6 t/ha & Waterkloof 6 t/ha.


Typical cold, wet winter followed by a normal growing season with enough rain and warm weather to produce good, balanced growth. The Chenin Blanc seemed to relish the knife-edge harvest conditions with small heatwaves alternating with short, wet, cold spells. (It was difficult to produce Straw Wine in these conditions, so we produced more of the dry Chenin Blanc). Despite the seemingly favorable conditions, we had practically no botrytis rot – in part due to our very open canopies
Harvested at 22.5 – 24.8° Balling.
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 flavors, before re-harvesting in the cool mornings. Fermented with natural yeasts and matured for 22 months using mostly new 225liters French oak barrels. Racked while in barrel to remove heavy sediment and lightly bentonite fined. The VA was reduced by about 20%.
Bottling date: 12-19-08.
Production: 189 cases (6 x 375 ml)
Harvest date: 2-2-07 – 2-13-07 at 22.5 – 24.8° Balling
Re-harvested from racks: 3-2-07 –3-16-07
Havested at 43 - 48° Balling

Tasting Notes:

Color: Attractive deep yellow gold colour.
Nose: Great intensity and sweetness. Dried apricot, nuts, honey and burnt treacle.
Palate: The palate is intensely sweet yet not cloying, fresh and lively yet richly oxidative with a long clean and complex finish.
Other: This vintage is best as a sweet treat on its own after a fine meal (or upgrade an ordinary meal!). A rewarding challenge to match with desserts!

Chemical Analysis:

Alc (%): 10.09
RS (g/l): 280.9
TA (g/l): 5.4
pH: 1.54