2012 was an exceptionally dry year, probably the driest we have ever had resulting in very early picking dates. The resultant intensity from the small berry size has continued through into the wine. Both the Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvédre were fermented in small batches in open bins with regular hand punching down. The smaller batches were pressed directly into barrel and allowed to mature with some fermentation lees. We also did malolactic fermentation in barrel which gave us fuller mouth feel and structure.
After malolactic fermentation the wine was racked and returned to barrel for a further 24 months.
During the blending process great care was taken to follow the house style of Saboteur, which is increasingly building up a huge following, i.e. bold fruit, good spice and soft tannins. This year the blend ended up being closer to the 2009 in percentages comprising of 52% Shiraz, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Mourvédre.
Grapes were sourced from three vineyard sites:
Bot River, Luddite old block clone 9C Shiraz harvested on 22th February 2012
Bot River, Ou Meul Cabernet Sauvignon harvested on 27th February 2012
Bot River, Luddite young block Mourvédre harvested on 14th March 2012
Bot River, Luddite young block Cabernet Sauvignon harvested on 22nd February 2012
Bot River, Gabrielskloof clone 9C Shiraz harvested on 1st March 2012
Average analysis of fruit at harvest
25.2° Balling, TA – 6.2 g/l, pH – 3.35
Appearance: Dark garnet in appearance with plummy red edges.
Nose: Spice jumps out of the glass, baked plums, dark cherry and savoury wood.
Palate: Rich and decadent. Dark fruit, plums and black cherries. Great balance to mid palate with hints of saltiness and a juicy, long, well balanced finish.
Analysis of the wine
TA: 6.06 g/l
RS: 3.43 g/l