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2006 La Motte Shiraz

2006 La Motte Shiraz

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Years of experience in producing this varietal have enabled La Motte to combine the grapes of a number of cool terroirs to capture juicy berry-fruit, sweet liquorice, violet flowers and pepper spice. Traditionally a very bold varietal, this rewarding Shiraz has been refined into a medium-bodied, highly accessible wine.

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This wine was made from grapes originating from vineyards growing in different regions in the Cape winelands - Walker Bay (40%), Franschhoek (22%), Darling (19%), Paarl (12%) and Wellington (7%).

The conditions preceding the 2006 harvest were reasonably normal as far as long-term standards are concerned. Winter was wet and cold enough to ensure dormancy, but an untimely hot period during August caused uneven budding in some varietals. This condition probably affected Shiraz and caused very uneven ripening. Selection in the vineyard and sorting on tables were imperative. Very windy conditions occurred in December and water consumption was high. The stress caused smaller berries, a positive condition. Grapes were extremely healthy, but the yield was low. Harvesting started on 22 February 2006.

All the vineyards have unique macro climates and grow in a large variety of soil types. Different clones are represented. All vineyards are trellised in accordance with the Perold system and are managed to be perfectly in balance in terms of leaf coverage and yield. Thanks to the different terroirs, each region produces its own distinctive grapes. The result is that each region makes a unique contribution in flavour and structure. Furthermore, each terroir has its own time of ripening and grapes for this wine were harvested over a period of one month.

Grapes were hand-sorted and the whole berries were pumped into the tank. The grapes were then cold-soaked for a few days before inoculation with a selected yeast. Fermentation was at 25 degrees Celsius. After fermentation there was extended skin contact for 20 days. The wine was then placed into 225-litre barrels where malolactic fermentation occurred. Thereafter, for 16 months, the wine was matured in 225-litre oak barrels - 10% new, 50% second-fill and 40% third-fill (85% French, 10% American and 5% Hungarian). After selection of the best barrels, 8 000 cartons (12 x 750ml) were bottled at La Motte on 20 September 2007 for release as 2006 La Motte Shiraz.

This wine has an attractive violet-red colour. The nose shows familiar Shiraz spices such as nutmeg, aniseed, cinnamon and clove. These are backed by blackcurrant fruit and sweet candy-floss aromas. The body is firm, but the tannins are well rounded and integrated with pomegranate fruit flavours. The finish is clean and leaves a peppery aftertaste.

Alcohol 13,85% vol
Residual sugar 2,5 g/l
Total acid 5,0 g/l
pH 3,87