There are only a few things in life that fill me with as much unadulterated joy as a bottle of good red wine. Wine is one of nature’s greatest gifts to mankind; a gift that the grape artists on this earth have perfected into the epitome of indulgent pleasure. When I recently received a bottle of Millennium 2016 from La Motte Wine Estate, I knew this would be nothing less than the ultimate masterpiece.
“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” ―
La Motte was acquired in 1970 by the late Dr. Anton Rupert, an internationally respected industrialist who established a global business empire, and was held in high regard as a committed conservationist. Dr. Rupert and his art-devoted wife, Huberte, also played an immense role in the preservation of art.
In 1970 the farm was bought by Dr. Anton Rupert and a major development, restoration and conservation programme followed, which reinvented La Motte into a leading global wine producer and sought-after tourist destination. Vineyards have been progressively replanted with noble varieties, the latest viticultural practices have been introduced and a modern cellar has been built.
Today, La Motte Wine Estate is operated under the guidance of owner Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg and her husband Hein Koegelenberg, Chief Executive Officer of the estate.
I’m an avid red wine drinker, especially when it’s wintery cold and my kitchen is filled with fragrant aromas of simmering stews and other hearty food. There’s nothing quite as comforting as the smell of a deep plum-coloured wine at the end of a long day.
Where I have very specific white wine preferences, I like to be surprised and enticed by a red wine. I’m happy to taste everything and all, just to find that perfect bottle. I find, because of the complex nature of red wine, that I’ll never know if I like it unless I taste it, so I try not to exclude any varietals when it comes to red wine.
I was nothing short of pleasantly surprised with (and endlessly charmed by!) my first sip of Millennium 2016. It was smooth and soft at first feel, but incredibly plump with berries and soft red fruits. There was nothing dry or gritty about this wine; it was confidently bold in it’s delicate spiciness, with a beautifully lingering aftertaste that would leave any wine lover sitting with closed eyes and a dreamy smile on their faces.
What surprised me most, was the mineral-y finish, which kicks in after the initial burst of flavour. This Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc is simply beautiful.
Awards: Mundus Vini – Gold in 2018
In the vineyard: Grapes originate from Walker Bay, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. Each of the different terroirs make a unique contribution to the flavour and structure of the wine. Merlot (51%), Cabernet Franc (30%), Petit Verdot (9%) and Malbec (10%).
In the cellar: The various components were matured separately for 12 months in old 225-litre French oak barrels, before blending, filtration and bottling.
Tasting notes: A nose of raspberry (Merlot) and English toffee (oak) combine in a harmonious way and complements the slight herbaciousness (Cabernet Franc) and earthy aromas of beetroot and leafy undergrowth. The Malbec and Petit Verdot add subtle spice and contribute to the intensity of the wine’s colour. The palate is juicy with concentrated blueberries, a fresh acidity and finishes with toffee and cinnamon.
Approximate retail price: Cellar door price: R85
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: My mind went into overdrive once I tasted this wine, because I wanted to pair so many different foods with it. I found it to be an incredibly versatile all-rounder and an easy, reliable introduction to new red wine drinkers.
In the end, I decided to embrace the last of the Cape Town winter’s days and made my famous Mexican bean casserole, which I served with wild rice and lentils. The deep meatiness of the back bacon enhanced the robustness of the wine, where the creamy bean and tomato base left you with an insatiable appetite for more. I added just a hint of green habanero chilli to kick it up a notch, and a good amount of freshly ground pepper and coriander to pick up the spices in the wine.
Paulo Coelho was really onto something. Some wines should only be sipped and tasted. Not this one. La Motte’s Millennium 2016 is meant to be enjoyed in all it’s juicy glory. This is a wine that you should showcase when you have the opportunity, because each bottle will turn your meal into a love-affair with the culinary arts. Every bottle is an artwork; don’t hide it in a corner; bring it out and let it stand centre-stage for everyone to admire, share and enjoy.
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.