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.
A blend of mostly Mourvedre and Shiraz, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache comprising 13% of the blend, the nose of the 2018 Luddite Saboteur has an interesting light herbal element reminding of rosemary and pepper over red plum and darker red berry notes. Medium fuller bodied, this has a supple textural feel that really comes forth with some aeration, with finer tuned tannins playing nicely against the brambly red berry and plum fruit flavors that are touched up with a savory herbal note that chimes in and runs through on the dry finish.