2016 is the second year of very dry and warm weather which reflects in the earlier picking dates. This produced very ripe fruit with big fruit flavours. For the first time since 2012, the Cabernet Sauvignon is more dominant than the Mourvedre and this shows in the overall structure and complexity of the wine. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvedre were fermented in small batches in open bins with regular hand punchdowns. 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 only in barrel for 12 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, i.e. bold fruit, good spice and soft tannins. The blend this year has a larger portion of Cabernet Sauvignon than ever before. The blend comprises of 54% Shiraz, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Mourvedre.
Appearance: Dark red and full colour to the edge.
Nose: All spice and brewing dark fruit. Overall warm fuzzy decadent feel which draws one in.
Palate: Dark juicy fruit on entry. Broad spicy cherries and dark fruit with a decadent mid palate withhints of cassis and dry, well balanced soft tannins
32 840 bottles of this vintage were produced (24 880 cork, 7 460 crown cap & 500 magnums)
Niels Verburg’s ever popular, second-tier red is a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre and Monastrel. The highest ever percentage of Cabernet has freshened the wine, adding cassis to the plum and date flavours. Concentrated, ripe and stylishly packaged. 2019-23
Platter’s 92/100 ****(*)
Blend change, shiraz-led with cab, mourvèdre, less oaking than Shiraz (year), 2016 for earlier drinking. No less impressive for that: vivid dark fruit & tobacco, juicy texture & a backbone for ageing.