2017 is the third consecutive very dry vintage with very little rainfall. This produced very ripe fruit with big fruit flavours. For the first time, the Saboteur Red contains Grenache Noir which goes somewhere to a Rhone Blend style; if it wasn’t for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvédre and Grenache Noir were all fermented in small batches in open bins with regular hand punch downs. The larger Shiraz batches were fermented in stainless steel tanks with regular pump overs. All the components were pressed directly into barrel and allowed to mature with some fermentation lees. Some of the batches did malolactic fermentation in barrel which gives a fuller mouth feel and structure. This vintage was in barrel for 18 months with 40% new French Oak. All the components were aged separately.
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. The blend this year is 57% Shiraz, 20% Mourvédre, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Grenache Noir. The Grenache Noir is from the 2018 vintage which lifts the freshness and red fruit spectrum of this wine.
Grapes were sourced from eight vineyard sites:
Bot River, Gabriëlskloof clone 1A Shiraz harvested on 17th February 2017
Bot River, Gabriëlskloof clone 5A Shiraz harvested on 20th February 2017
Bot River, Luddite young block Cabernet Sauvignon harvested on 21st February 2017
Bot River, Gabriëlskloof clone 9C Shiraz harvested on 27th February 2017
Bot River, Gabriëlskloof Cabernet Sauvignon harvested on 2nd March 2017
Bot River, Luddite young block Mourvédre harvested on 3rd March 2017
Bot River, Gabriëlskloof Mourvédre harvested on 7th March 2017
Bot River, Nabot Grenache Noir harvested on 21st February 2018
Average analysis of fruit at harvest
24.8° Balling, TA – 6.0 g/l, pH – 3.48
Appearance: Dark red and full colour to the edge.
Nose: All spice and brooding dark fruit. Rich cassis, cinnamon and cloves towards the finish.
Palate: Dark juicy fruit on entry. Broad spicy cherries and dark fruit with a decadent mid palate, full bodied with hints of ripe strawberries. The finish is dry, rich and full.
Analysis of the wine
Alcohol: 14.85% pH: 3.65 TA: 5.0 g/l RS: 2.8 g/l
18 670 bottles of this vintage were produced (6 970 cork, 10 670 crown cap & 1 030 magnums)Download PDF