3 V | 2012 | 2008 | ARCHIVE

de Trafford Straw Wine
3 V Chenin Blanc


Vineyard: Keemont, Post House and Helderzicht.
Soil Type: Deep red granite based Hutton (Keermont), Gravelly Hutton and Escourt (Post House) and sandy, gravelly Escourt (Helderzicht).
Vine Age: 41, 27 and 29 years old.
Irrigation: Drip Method
Harvest Date:
Yield: 4 and 7 t/ha.


De Trafford Wines were the first in South Africa to produce this exceptional style of wine. Experimentally in 1995 and 1996 and officially in 1997 after having to get approval through the Wine and Spirit Board and even having to pass a bill in Parliament.
3V is now a first for de Trafford too. A combination of three excellent, but small vintages; 2011; 2013 and 2014, it is 100% Chenin Blanc.
2011 was hot and dry and ideal for Straw Wine. 2013 somewhat cooler, but pretty dry too. 2014 was also a cooler vintage, but quite a bit of late season rain and a little trickier to produce Straw Wine. We had to take some of the grapes off the rack a little earlier. Three good and complimentary Straw Wine vintages. However, the significant difference is in the evolution of the three wines before blending and bottling.
The grapes were picked at optimum ripeness and laid out on drying racks in 70% shade for about 3 weeks. Before the 2013 vintage, de Trafford suffered severe winds, which reduced the shading over the straw wine racks. It was decided to do a little less Straw Wine over the next few years until the trees recover. The natural drying process allows the grapes to concentrate sugars, acids and flavors, before re-harvesting in the cool mornings. Fermented with natural yeasts and matured for 20 to 56 months using 50% new 225 liters French oak barrels. Racked while in the barrel to remove heavy sediment and lightly bentonite fined.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Bright gold.
Nose: Dried apricot and lemon skin, some flintiness, but mostly complex honey and treacle.
Palate: The palate is intensely sweet yet not cloying, fresh and lively with an oxidative complexity and a long clean finish.
Other: A sweet treat after a meal. Great with cheese.

Chemical Analysis:

Alc (%): 11.93
RS (g/l): 218
TA (g/l): 6.1
pH: 3.91