I am currently in the Rhone region of France discussing ways to strengthen ties between the region and the Franschhoek region of South Africa, where La Motte and Leopard’s Leap are based. Franschhoek is one of the major wine hubs of South Africa established by the French Huguenots in the 17th century.
Accompanied by Jenny Prinsloo, who heads up the Franschhoek Wine Valley association, I met with the Deleguee Generale Comite de Pilotage Viti Vinicole Rhone-Alpes Chambre Regionale d’Agriculture Rhone-Alpes about French winemakers, and possibly chefs and sommeliers, traveling to South Africa later this year to participate in Franschhoek’s famous Bastille Festival.
Below is a group photograph of those attending the meeting. Jenny Prinsloo is in the front left and second from the right is Hetta van Deventer, La Motte’s culinary manager.Of course, wine tasting was on the agenda.
After the meeting we tasted three superb Cote Rotie wines from 1983, 1990 and 1991. My tasting notes are:
— 1983- This wine gave still a lot of liqueries flavors, strong tannins and a good acid with a dry finish.
— 1990 – This wine was earthy, fruit cake with good acid and a long finish.
— 1991- This wine was peppery and spicy with fine tannin, good acid and a long finish.Last year when we travelled to the Rhone region, I bought a barrel of the Cote Rotie 2010 vintage along with La Motte winemaker Edmund Terblanche and Leopard’s Leap winemaker Eugene van Zyl.
This year I approved the bottling of the 2010 barrel and we purchased a 2011 vintage, which I am standing next to in the photo above.