Luddite Saboteur 2012
Appearance: Dark garnet in appearance with plummy red edges. Nose: Spice jumps out of the glass, baked plums, dark cherry and savoury wood. Palate: Rich and decadent. Dark fruit, plums and black cherries. Great balance to mid palate with hints of saltiness and a juicy, long, well balanced finish.
Platter’s South African Wine guide 2016 – 5 Stars
12(*****) a highpoint for this bold & big blend of shiraz, cab, mourvedre. Textured mouthful of bright, succulent, rounded black fruit, fynbos & dried herbs. Firm oak backbone yet silky, fine tannins & spicy cured meat lift on long finish. From 5 Bot River blocks
93 pts Robert Parker Jr’s The Wine Advocate (NM)
The 2012 Saboteur is a blend of 52% Shiraz, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Mourvedre with malo in barrel where it ages for 24 months. The nose is clean and pure with Morello cherries, mulberry and crème de cassis fruit, the oak discretely hidden. The palate is medium-bodied with rounded and supple tannins. There is impressive weight in the mouth and yet the spicy finish is both well defined and begs another sip. Excellent.
92 pts James Suckling
A rich and decadent red with spice, earth, asphalt and iodine aromas and flavors. Full body, soft tannins and a flavorful finish. Mature character now. A blend of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and Mourvedre. Ready.
90+ pts Stephen Tanzer/Vinous June 2015
2012 Luddite Saboteur (52% Shiraz, 31% Mourvedre and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon; from this producer’s home vineyard in Bot River; 20% new French oak): Bright red-ruby. Blackberry jam, blueberry and violet on the nose. Densely packed, jammy and sweet but with terrific acid spine and inner-mouth lift keeping the wine’s dark fruit flavors vibrant. Still tightly wound and in need of time in bottle to unfold. But the firm tannins are free of edges. Lovely energy here–and not a blockbuster in spite of its 14.8% alcohol.
2012 was an exceptionally dry year, probably the driest we have ever had resulting in very early picking dates. The resultant intensity from the small berry size has continued through into the wine. Both the Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvédre were fermented in small batches in open bins with regular hand punching down. The smaller batches were pressed directly into barrel and allowed to mature with some fermentation lees. We also did malolactic fermentation in barrel which gave us fuller mouth feel and structure.
After malolactic fermentation the wine was racked and returned to barrel for a further 24 months.
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. This year the blend ended up being closer to the 2009 in percentages comprising of 52% Shiraz, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Mourvédre.