Saboteur Red 2018

Saboteur 2018 Red Blend

2018 is the fourth consecutive dry vintage with very little rainfall. This produced ripe fruit with big fruit flavours. For the first time ever, the Saboteur Red is dominated by Mourvédre as the highest percentage of the blend so moving ever closer to a Rhone style blend. Fortunately the Cabernet Sauvignon continues to be outstanding and therefore always makes its way into the final blend. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache Noir were all fermented in small batches in open bins with regular hand punch downs. The larger batches of Mourvédre and Shiraz 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 30% 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, ie. bold fruit, good spice and soft tannins. The blend this year is 45% Mourvédre, 42% Shiraz, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Grenache Noir. The Grenache Noir is from the 2019 vintage which lifts the freshness and red fruit spectrum of this wine.

Grapes were sourced from eight vineyard sites:

  • Bot River, Stuart Vineyards Shiraz harvested on 20th February 2018
  • Bot River, Luddite young block Cabernet Sauvignon harvested on 22nd February 2018
  • Bot River, Gabriëlskloof clone 1A Shiraz harvested on 1st March 2018
  • Bot River, Luddite young block Mourvédre harvested on 7th March 2018
  • Bot River, Gabriëlskloof clone 5A Shiraz harvested on 13th March 2018
  • Bot River, Gabriëlskloof Cabernet Sauvignon harvested on 21st March 2018
  • Bot River, Gabriëlskloof Mourvédre harvested on 21st March 2018
  • Bot River, Anysbos Grenache Noir harvested on 25th February 2019

Average analysis of fruit at harvest

24.6° Balling, TA – 6.3 g/l, pH – 3.52

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Dark red with hints of purple to the edge. Nose: Spicy, hints of toffee, crème caramel, pomegranate and dark plums. Palate: Dark juicy entry with white pepper. Mid-palate bold red and black fruit. Finishing long dry and spicy. Decadently smooth.

Analysis of the wine

Alcohol: 14.8% pH: 3.6 TA: 5.17 g/l RS: 2.16 g/l

TBC: 18 670 bottles of this vintage were produced (10 349 cork, 10 670 crown cap & 515 magnums)

Tasting notes dated 24th March 2021.

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