Saboteur White 2020

The 2020 shows a slight change in style, fuller and richer than the previous 5 vintages due to a small percentage of botrytis in the Chenin Blanc grapes so that during skin contact at the beginning of fermentation, the sugars actually went up instead of down. Due to this, the skin contact time for the Chenin was reduced to 3 days of fermentation. The majority of the Viognier was fermented on skins with a smaller, later picked portion fermented in barrel. We continue to get outstanding quality and high acidity Sauvignon Blanc from Elgin to balance the juicy tropical fruit. As in previous years, the Chenin and Viognier are pressed and allowed to finish the fermentation in barrel. The Blanc Fumé is pressed and the juice racked to barrel without settling to give more texture and finish the fermentation. All the components spent 10 months in French Oak barrels of which the majority were old. 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. We felt that the wine was showing so much fruit and fullness that it needed an extra 6% of the 2021 Sauvignon Blanc harvest. So the resultant blend this year is 61% Chenin Blanc, 20% Viognier and 19% Blanc Fumé. We hope that we have continued 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 12th February 2020
  • Bot River, Stuart Vineyards Chenin Blanc harvested 12th February 2020
  • Elgin, Elgin Ridge Sauvignon Blanc harvested 24th February 2020
  • Elgin, Elgin Orchards Viognier harvested 24th February 2020 (this vineyard has since been pulled out so no longer exists)

Average analysis of fruit at harvest

21.8° Balling, TA – 6.8 g/l, pH – 3.36

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pale straw.

Nose: Fresh orange peel, hint of potpourri, peach and apricot, lime blossom.

Palate: White pear and lime on entry, broad tropical mid pallet with clean, fresh, salty, citrus finish.

Analysis of the wine

Alcohol: 13.2% pH: 3.54 TA: 5.8 g/l RS: 1.6 g/l

12 290 bottles of this vintage were produced (crown cap)

Tasting notes dated 27th May 2021.

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