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.
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.
A great natural acidity will allow this wine to age gracefully.
Platter’s 93/100 ****(*)
Crown cap closure, tag-like neck label lauding saboteurs, as Red. Chenin (71%) with sauvignon & viognier, treated differently for fruit expression. 2018 prominent lime aromas, pear & peach in the flavours, 9 months lees contact giving palate weight, savoury notes.
What the Saboteur White from Luddite in Bot River has tended to lack in finesse, it makes up for in personality and the new 2018 is no different. A blend of Chenin Blanc, Viognier and wooded Sauvignon Blanc, the nose shows lots of flinty, smoky reduction, this character somehow quite winning, before lemon, naartjie, orange and some waxiness. The palate meanwhile is rich and thick textured (despite an alcohol of just 12.5%) but equally, there’s no shortage of verve and the wine is super-flavourful. Nothing subtle but so delicious!