La Motte Hanneli R 2011
By Christian Eedes, 21 December 2015
Hanneli R is the flagship red blend from Franschhoek cellar La Motte and with it only made in exceptional years, the volume kept small and the price tag high means it’s a wine which demands to be taken seriously.
The 2011 succeeds the 2005, 2007 and 2009 vintages. Total production was 3 300 bottles and the wine sells for R960 a bottle. It’s a blend of 80% Shiraz, the largest component from Elim but also some from Bot River plus 10% Petite Sirah and 10% Tempranillo, both from Franschhoek, while maturation in 300-litre barrels lasted 40 months.
It’s probably the best resolved to date. Red and black berries, an olivaceous quality, spice and dried herbs are all very enticing but there are also a definite vanilla note, too. On the palate, there’s great intensity but also intricacy – the Petite Sirah and Tempranillo add intrigue. The wine has freshness and the grapes were obviously not worked too hard. There’s an inescapable veneer of oak, however, the wine appearing quite drying on the finish and you have to wonder if that 40 months was entirely necessary.