De Trafford Bush Vine Chardonnay 2019

By , 5 November 2021

While scratching around the Bottelary Hills looking for some old vine Chenin Blanc in the lead-up to the 2019 harvest, David Trafford came upon a rare block of bush-vine Chardonnay planted in the early 1990s – though De Trafford had never previously released a white wine other than from Chenin Blanc, this proved irresistible.

Having procured slightly less than two tons of grapes, spontaneous fermentation and maturation lasting 12 months occurred in two 400-litre barrels, one new and the other third-fill.

Though the intention was to prevent softening malolactic fermentation, this was not achieved. Nevertheless, the wine remains very direct. The nose shows lemon plus hints of almond, oatmeal and vanilla while the palate shows pure, clean, concentrated fruit to go with punchy acidity, the finish nicely savoury. It’s well balanced and still very youthful at this stage. Price: R280 a bottle.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

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