The wines of La Motte, Franschhoek
South Africa revisited part 22: a solid and sometimes exciting line up from La Motte

Winemaker Edmond Terreblanche


La Motte is one of the three wine estates owned by the Rupert family, with the others being LíOrmarins (also in Franschhoek) and the joint venture Rupert & Rothschild. La Motte is owned by Hanneli Rupert, the daughter of Anton Rupert who purchased the estate in 1970, and her husband Hein Koegelenberg is managing director. They are also part owners of Leopardís Leap, a more commercial venture.

I tasted these wines initially with winemaker Edmund Terreblanche, who has been working here for a decade now, and then on a subsequent visit with dinner at the excellent Pierneef restaurant at the winery, with Michael Langenhoven, assistant winemaker.

Thereís a move here towards organics. Currently, two-thirds of the fruit comes from organically managed vineyards. The wines are quite smart, with the Pierneef range being particularly impressive. Terreblanche says that he tries to make Shiraz in a Burgundy style, looking not to make blockbusters, but lighter wines. His expression of Shiraz is quite convincing, and I also really like the Pierneef Sauvignon. 


La Motte Sauvignon Blanc 2009
This is half of the whole production. Very fresh and grassy with nice bright fruity nose. Fruity palate with good freshness and precision. Focused with lovely clean balanced fruit. Some mineral notes, too. 87/100 11/09

La Motte Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (organic)
Fresh mineral and grapefruit nose. Beautifully focused. The palate has amazing bright lime and grapefruit notes with some melon and fresh grass hints. Intense, in a distinctive style. 90/100 11/09

La Motte Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (organic)
Taut and crisp with some green herby noes and also lovely rich melon and citrus fruit, as well as grapefruit freshness. Multidimensional. 90/100

La Motte Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (organic) tank sample
Youthful, aromatic and fresh with lovely rich fruit character. Very bright with some savouriness and nice greenness. 90/100

La Motte Chardonnay 2008
Fresh and creamy with mealy, toasty nose and fresh lemony fruit. Fresh and well balanced. Pure, slightly nutty palate with good fruit. Very stylish and fresh. 90/100 11/09

La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Plump and berryish with sweet fruit and a spicy, earthy edge. Finishes quite dry. Showing some evolution. 85/100 11/09

La Motte Shiraz 2007
Ripe, sweet, aromatic berry fruits nose with some hints of meat, spice and cured meat. The palate is focused with pure berry fruits and a nice meaty savouriness. Nicely savoury: a bacon wine. 90/100 11/09

La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier 2007
This is 9% Viognier which is harvested and then kept in the fridge for 2 weeks so that it can be fermented with the Shiraz. Pure, intense, liqueur-like sweet red fruits nose with lovely purity. The palate is quite lush but still well defined with lovely pretty cherry and raspberry fruit. Elegant and well defined. 92/100 11/09

La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Grenache 2007
Sweet black fruits nose is supple and slightly meaty with spicy red and black fruits and nice savoury, peppery structure. Nice density here with delicious savoury meatiness. 92/100    11/09

Part 1, Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards
Part 2, Cape Point Vineyards
Part 3, AA Badenhorst Family Wines
Part 4, Eben Sadie: Sadie Family Wines and Sequillo Cellars
Part 5, Paul Kretzel of Lammershoek
Part 6, Mullineux Family Wines
Part 7, Vondeling
Part 8, Scali
Part 9, Sterhuis
Part 10, Raats
Part 11, Migliarina
Part 12, Charles Back and Fairview
Part 13, Hermit on the Hill
Part 14, Klein Constantia
Part 15, Iona, Elgin
Part 16, Paul Cluver, Elgin
Part 17, Eagles' Nest, Constantia
Part 18, Anthonij Rupert
Part 19, Rupert & Rothschild
Part 20, Oak Valley, Elgin
Part 21, Shannon, Elgin

Wines tasted 10/10  
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