Saboteur White 2018

This is the fourth addition of the very successful Saboteur White Blend.  We were very lucky to source a small block of older vine Chenin Blanc further down the valley.  This block added another dimension to the final blend.  The drought conditions still persisted so, as in 2017, a smaller berry size and greater concentration of flavour.

The Chenin Blanc was naturally fermented in 3 batches.  The first portion was on skins for 8 days before pressing and finishing the fermentation in barrel.  The second batch was crushed and pressed and the juice taken directly to barrel to complete fermentation.  The third batch was left on skins for only 4 days then pressed and allowed to finish fermentation in barrel.  This resulted in 3 very different components which added more complexity to the final blend.  The Viognier was fermented for 14 days on skins and the Blanc Fumé juice was taken directly to barrel without settling to give more texture and complete fermentation.  All the components spend 9 months in French Oak barrels of which 11% were new this year.  We left all the wine on gross lees with regular batonnage to flesh out the wine.  We racked and made up the blend and the only time we added SO2 was to protect the wine for the bottling process.

We blended the 3 components to make sure that the wine is in absolute balance and the result this year is a 71% Chenin Blanc, 15% Viognier and 14% Blanc Fumé. We feel that we still continue to achieve our goal which is to have a serious, well-structured yet refreshingly fruity white wine.

Grapes were sourced from four vineyard sites:

Bot River, Barton Chenin Blanc harvested 15th, 21st & 23rd February 2018
Overberg, Klipkraal Chenin Blanc harvested 27th February 2018
Elgin, Elgin Ridge Sauvignon Blanc harvested 6th March 2018
Elgin, Elgin Orchards Viognier harvested 13th March 2018

Average analysis of fruit at harvest

20.6° Balling, TA – 6.8 g/l, pH – 3.32

Tasting Notes

Appearance:  Pale straw with a hint of lime green.
Nose:  Spicy pear, cling peaches and citrus peel.
Palate:  Pears and citrus bon-bons on entry, textured mid pallet with a medley of ripe plums, peaches and pears, finished off with a long balanced citrusy finish.

Analysis of the wine

Alcohol: 12.38%        pH: 3.42    TA: 5.4 g/l    RS: 1.4 g/l

21 200 bottles of this vintage were produced  (crown cap)

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