2015 | 2014 | 2013 | ARCHIVE

de Trafford Chenin Blanc
2015 Chenin Blanc


Vineyard: Helderzicht and Lanrust located on the foothills of the Helderberg Mountain and Keermont.
Soil Type: Sandy, gravelly Escourt and deep red hutton soil with good moisture retention.
Vine Age: 31, 35 and 9 years old.
Irrigation: Lightly irrigated
Harvest Date: From 23 January.
Yield: 5 to 7 t/ha.


The earliest harvest ever starting on 23 January, though this was surpassed in 2016 by one day. Good post-2014 harvest rains and an early cold, wet winter meant a good build-up of reserves and dormancy. Warm weather in August resulted in early and importantly even bud-break. The warm, dry windy summer kept growth moderate and sped up ripening by about two weeks, as well as ensuring no rot or other health problems. Although fertility was good, bunches and berries were smaller than usual, contributing to the lower yield. The summer was warm to hot, but there were no real heatwaves during the critical ripening period, which with lower temperatures at night, ensured excellent flavor development and good PH and acidity. Despite such an early harvest, 2015 is emerging as one of the best ever harvests.
Grapes lightly crushed and allowed three hours skin contact before gently pressing in a traditional basket press. Sulfite 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 nine months with lees stirred once to twice a month initially. 15% new French oak used. No malolactic fermentation. Lightly fined with bentonite – a natural clay. Bottled unfiltered on the property by hand.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Pale yellow.
Nose: Fresh dusty apricot on the nose at first with ripe melon, lemon, honey, butter and roasted nuts.
Palate: Freshness and elegance hiding real depth and richness. A lively, but still closed palate with dusty apricots, nuts, lemon and honey showing on a moderately rich mid-palate and a long dry, nutty finish.
Other: Excellent with rich fish, seafood and sushi.
Already showing a lot of complexity - drink now to 2024.

Chemical Analysis:

Alc (%): 13.88
RS (g/l): 2
TA (g/l): 5.6
pH: 3.44