3 V | 2008 | 2007 | ARCHIVE

De Trafford Straw Wine
2008 Chenin Blanc


Vineyard: Keerweder (high altitude south west slope), Post House (lower slopes of the Helderberg, 8 km from the cooling influence of the sea) and Bredell (bush vines on the foothills of the Helderberg 4km from False Bay).
Soil Type: Deep red Hutton/ gravelly Hutton and Escourt/ sandy, gravelly Escourt soil.
Vine Age: 22, 24 & 36 years old.
Irrigation: Lightly irrigated
Harvest Date: 1st February to 8 March.
Yield: 7, 6 & 3 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 heat waves alternating with short, wet, cold spells. It was difficult to produce Straw Wine in these conditions with botrytis rot starting to develop late in the season. The grapes could not be left on the racks as long as usual resulting in a slightly drier, more elegant wine than usual.
The grapes were picked at optimum ripeness and laid out on drying racks in 70% shade for about 2½ weeks. This allows the grapes to concentrate sugars, acids and flavors, before reharvesting in the cool mornings. Fermented with natural yeasts and matured for 20 months using mostly new 225L French oak barrels. Racked while in barrel to remove heavy sediment and lightly bentonite fined. A small (10%) acidity increase required to assist bentonite fining.
Harvested from 1st February to 8th of March and re-harvested from drying racks from 21st February to 13th of March 2008.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Attractive bright gold color.
Nose: Nose of ripe old lemon & dried apricot, nuts, honey and burnt treacle.
Palate: The palate is less intensely sweet than usual (only 163g/l instead of the usual 230g/l) with a fresh liveliness. Not as rich as usual but still has great depth and complexity and a long finish.
Other: More versatile with food than most vintages. Excellent with various patés, particularly duck liver as well as matured hard cheeses. Desserts that are not too sweet, such as apple tart or apricot flans.
These are naturally made, living wines which may deposit a sediment and / or tartrate crystals – a healthy sign of a handcrafted wine.

Chemical Analysis:

Alc (%): 13.5
RS (g/l): 163
TA (g/l): 6.9
pH: 3.84