Dinner at Pierneef La Motte

Had a nice dinner last night at Pierneef La Motte, a new high-end restaurant in Franschhoek. It was a jolly crowd (pictured above, from left) – Michael Langenhoven (assistant winemaker, La Motte), me, Pieter de Waal, Erika Obermeyer (Graham Beck), Werner Engelbrecht (Waterkloof) and Werner Muller (winemaker, Chamonix). Taking the picture was Krige Visser (general manager of La Vierge).

It’s a beautiful setting, with a real artistic flourish about the place. The food and service were very good. I started off with a deliciously rich gnocci dish, and then this was followed with a boldly flavoured pork belly in a rich reduction, with some interesting tripe bits on the side and strips of crackling on top. Very serious.

The wines were full of interest, with an organic/natural theme.

I particularly liked the Waterkloof Circumstance Syrah 2008, which flirts with a little too much ripeness but is saved by a delicious peppery freshness and lovely structure. A portion of whole bunch was used; this will be increased in the 2009. The Reyneke 2009 Sauvignon Blanc was brilliant, too. Chamonix Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 is also really, really good.

It was a fun evening.

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