Saboteur Red 2014

2014 was the trickiest vintage so far this decade as the heavy rainfall at the beginning of December and again in January brought on early ripening and quite a lot of rot. Fortunately, we are a small producer and realised the potential of early ripening and rot and picked before it was too late. Producers who weren’t paying attention got caught with their pants down. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvédre were fermented in small batches in open bins with regular hand punch downs. The larger Shiraz batch was fermented in stainless steel tanks with regular pump overs. The batches were pressed directly into barrel and allowed to mature with some fermentation lees. We also did malolactic fermentation in barrel which gives a fuller mouth feel and structure. After malolactic fermentation the wine was racked and returned to barrel for a further 18 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 contains more new wood and probably the highest percentage of Shiraz thus far, comprising of 77% Shiraz, 19% Mourvédre and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Grapes were sourced from two vineyard sites:

Bot River, Luddite old block clone 9C Shiraz harvested on 20th February 2014

Bot River, Luddite young block Mourvédre harvested on 26th March 2014

Bot River, Luddite young block Cabernet Sauvignon harvested on 11th March 2014

Bot River, Gabrielskloof clone 9C Shiraz harvested on 5th March 2014

Average analysis of fruit at harvest

24.8" Balling, TA - 6.8 g/l, pH - 3.4

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Dark, garnet and full coloured to the edge.

Nose: Dark broody fruit, fynbos, garrigue scrubland, all spice and a hint of toasty wood.

Palate: Dark juicy fruit on entry. Broad, spicy cherries on mid palate. Finish is dry and firm with balanced tannins.

Analysis of the wine

Alcohol: 14.7% pH: 3.56 TA: 5.6 g/1 RS: 2.4 g/l

14 000 bottles of this vintage were produced (10 700 cork & 3 300 crown cap)

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