La Motte in Franschhoek has just released the 2009 vintage of its flagship wine, the Hanneli R. 53% Shiraz from Elim, 25% Grenache from Darling, 8% Carignan from Malmesbury, 8% Cinsaut from the West Coast and 6% Merlot from Walker Bay. 36 months in 300-litre French oak barrels, 100% new. 3 976 individually numbered bottles released. Cellar door price: R845 a bottle.
Red and black fruit, intense spice, sun-baked earth, subtle vanilla. Sweet upfront but savoury on the finish. Bright acidity, fine tannins. It remains a good but rather earnest offering and I think the Pierneef Shiraz Viognier from the same cellar (the 2010 currently selling for R199 a bottle) is a more enticing proposition.