Luddite Shiraz as made by Niels Verburg has never been short of impact but sometimes tends to be a bit too burly, at least for me. Recently, however, I chanced across Saboteur 2010, the second vintage of a multi-varietal red under the Luddite label (R180 a bottle) and the theory that the route to complete wine under local conditions lies in blending is once again given credence.
From 46% Shiraz, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Mourvédre sourced entirely from Bot River, the wine was a matured for 24 months in French oak, with the varieties kept separate, the Shiraz in a combination of first- through fourth-fill barrels and the Cab and Mourvédre in 100% new.
There’s red and black fruit (macerated cherries and plums) as well as cinnamon, white pepper and a hint of fresh herbs with time in the glass. Verburg has hardly renounced the house style – this is a robust, bountiful wine, full of fruit with firm but fine tannins and a fortifying warmth about it thanks to 15% abv but there’s no shortage of detail and it’s particularly satisfying to drink. The boldness of vision which has always underpinned Luddite wines now seems that much closer to being fully realised.