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August Vin-atics Tasting Notes

The lowdown on the 6 spectacular Shirazes chosen for this month's Vin-atics

by: Cathy Marston | 02 Aug 2010

2007 La Motte Shiraz/Grenache RRP R319 available from the farm    
Made from 53% Shiraz with 30% Grenache and 17% Mourvedre, this is also a blend of different regions with the Shiraz coming from warm Wellington and cool Walker Bay and the other grape varieties from Darling. The Grenache is all bushvines and the wine is intense and aromatic with leathery hints.

Dinner Party Drop-in line – “Shiraz and Syrah are exactly the same grape variety – Syrah is the ‘Old World’ term commonly used in Europe and Shiraz is the ‘New World’ version used most often in the Southern Hemisphere”

Chef Caro thinks that the Aubergine Pate with Cumin and Honey might go well here. The hints of aromatic spice should pick up the same notes in the wine as well.

2007 La Motte Shiraz/Viognier RRP R189 available from the farm
A blend of 91% Shiraz and 9% Viognier. All the latter comes from Wellington but the Shiraz comes from regions as diverse as Franschhoek and Elim. Viognier is a white grape and is one of the few which can be blended effectively into a red wine. It adds plenty of perfume and lifts the black fruit and black pepper flavours of the Shiraz.

Dinner Party Drop-in line – “Many people believe that Shiraz originally comes from Persia (now Iran) but in fact, it’s probably indigenous to the Rhône valley.”

Because of the Viognier, Caro has elected to go for an Asian dish to try and pick up some of the aromatics. Asian Duck Salad with its use of star anise, cinnamon and ginger should capitalise on these elements beautifully.

2008 La Motte Shiraz RRP R117 available from the farm
Once again a blend of different areas, each bringing a different flavour profile to the wine. Nearly half the grapes came from cool-climate areas where the grapes ripened slowly allowing for full flavour development. A very ‘European’-style wine with plenty of white pepper nuances and smoky black fruit.

Dinner Party Drop-in Line – “There are 13 different grape varieties permitted in Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Syrah, Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Muscardin, Terret Noir, Picpoul, Counoise, Vaccarese, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Bourboulenc.”

Winter is definitely time for a good stew and this Kassler Chops with Beans and Chorizo matches the bill perfectly. Caro reckons the rustic appeal of this dish will go well with the earthy spice from the wine.

2006 La Motte Shiraz
Uneven ripening and windy conditions led to a reduced harvest with smaller berries. Quality remained high however and the result is a lush wine with spice and herbal notes.

Dinner Party Drop-in Line – “The oldest sample of wine in the world dating to approximately 7000 years ago was discovered in clay jars recovered outside of Shiraz.”

‘This Pork, Pistachio and Apricot Terrine could just as easily match the apricot flavours in the Shiraz/Viognier!’ says Chef Caro! It’s rustic and chunky with nice smoked bacon flavours in there as well.

2005 La Motte Shiraz        
A wide spread of regions meant an exceptionally long harvest in this year. The grapes were extremely healthy and in excellent condition leading to a concentrated wine with good colour and structure.

Dinner Party Drop-in Line – “Did you know that Shiraz, the city in Iran after which the grape is named, is the birthplace of one of the founders of the Baha’i religion? Unfortunately, Baha’is don’t drink alcohol!.”

A very fruit-driven wine, Caro believes, will work best with this dish of Lamb Chops with Black Cherry and Mint sauce. ‘I hope the herbs will reflect well in the wine and the sweet meat and cherries be matched by the ripe black fruit.’

2003 La Motte Shiraz
Interesting use of oak (85% French, 10% American and 5% Hungarian) makes for a medium-bodied wine with hints of cloves and cinnamon. Sweet tobacco and fruitcake flavours with elegant tannins and length.

Dinner Party Drop-in Line – “The Rhône Valley, which is the French home of Shiraz, has inspired many other winemakers around the world to try and make their own Rhône blends. They have become known as ‘Rhône Rangers’.”

You can’t go wrong with a good steak and a glass of Shiraz! ‘This Sirloin Steak with Madagascan Green peppercorn sauce should match the spice in the wine to perfection’ says Chef Caro.


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