De Trafford Keermont 2001 made by David Trafford was joint winner of the 2002 Wine magazine Chenin Blanc Challenge 2002 and if the competition which dates since 1996 has tended to favour wines made in a rich and ripe, heavily oaked style this wine was an exception.
Grapes were from a 29-year-old Helderberg vineyard, picked at between 22.3° and 23.8° Balling. In the cellar, the wine underwent natural ferment in barrel and was matured there for 8 months. Only 30% new oak was used, mostly American. Abv 13.6%, RS 1.6g/l, TA 6.2g/l, pH 3.4.
Ten years on from vintage, there’s a waxy, leesy note on the nose while the palate displays pure fruit and bright acidity with flavours of citrus and green apple. A slightly grippy phenolic character on the finish that lends interest. I’ve drunk it a few times in the last twelve months or so and while it’s reached a point where it is declining rather than improving in the bottle, this is very gradual suggesting the antithesis of the line in Kurt Cobain’s suicide note appropriated from Neil Young that “it’s better to burn out than to fade away”.