Luddite Shiraz 2008
Appearance: Deep purple and dark red. Nose: Rich vibrant fruit, mostly plums and mulberries, dark chocolate and hints of wooding. Palate: Dark fruit and a rich mouth feel welcome you on entry to the palate. There is a feeling of decadence which is balanced by firm tannin, spice and toasty wood.
92 pts Robert Parker Jr’s The Wine Advocate (NM)
The 2008 Shiraz comes from three vineyards in the Bot River and in Stellenbosch and sees 18 months in 95% French and 5% Hungarian oak of which 30% was new. It bowls you over with its smorgasbord of blackberry and mulberry fruit, then with continued aeration, India ink and lemon rind. The aromatics seem to be so full of energy, yet the aromas are contained and aimed directly at your senses. The palate is medium-bodied with a sweet vibrant entry. Yes, there is a payload of cassis and blackberry fruit, but simultaneously there is that piercing acidity that lends it freshness and tension. This is a gorgeous Shiraz that I suspect will age with style over the next decade. Niels Verburg crafts some of South Africa’s wines and his tongue-in-cheek label entitled Luddite is well worth seeking out.
The 2008 vintage was a big, bold one due to very warm ripening conditions. The resultant wines have a dark fruit core and lots of structure. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with 4 hourly pump overs. We used cooler fermentation temperatures (24°C) to preserve and retain all the fruit complexity of this vintage. Only two weeks of post fermentation maceration was given as the tannin structure was starting to overpower the wine. Due to this bolder style it was decided that we use a higher percentage of new wood.
Malolactic fermentation took place on the skins where after the wine was pressed and put into 95% French Oak and 5% Hungarian Oak barrels. 30% of these barrels were new with the rest being 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill.
The wine remained in barrels for 18 months after which the wine was lightly filtered and bottled.