Luddite Saboteur current releases
By Christian Eedes, 3 December 2021
Saboteur Red as made by Niels Verburg of Luddite in Bot River dates from 2009 when he moved into his own cellar and was compelled to season some new barrels. The resulting wine wasn’t suited to the established single-variety Shiraz and so a new blend was conceived, a white counterpart coming into being in 2015. Typically, these are wines that have broad appeal without being at all facile and the new releases are no exception.
Luddite Saboteur White 2020
69% Chenin Blanc, 16% Viognier and 15% Sauvignon Blanc, the first two varieties fermented on the skins for around a week while maturation lasts 12 months in mainly older oak. Complex aromatics – some reduction before citrus, apple, stone fruit, some yeasty character, ginger and other spice as well as some floral perfume in the background. The palate has impressive richness to go with tangy acidity, the finish nicely savoury. It’s an abundant wine with layers of flavour and good weight and texture, managing to be combine a certain sleekness with grip.
CE’s rating: 95/100.
Luddite Saboteur Red 2018
45% Mourvèdre, 43% Shiraz, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Grenache. Matured for 18 months in French oak, 30% new. Red and black berries, pepper and spice, iodine, dried herbs and earth on the nose. The palate is full but balanced – dense fruit and firm tannins. Dark and brooding.
CE’s rating: 93/100.
Luddite Saboteur Red 2019
Due for release in January 2022. 60% Shiraz, 20% Mourvèdre, 13% Grenache and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon. Enticing aromatics of red berries, fresh herbs, smoked meat, white pepper and spice. The palate is rather more medium bodied than 2018 with a great core of fruit, fresh acidity and crunchy tannins. Supple and nicely energetic.
CE’s rating: 94/100.
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