Neil Pendock has just written about the Hanneli R, La Motte’s recently release flagship wine, in hisSunday Times column. In the column he asks whether the wine can be judged a masterpiece. This is how he answers his own question.
Neil uses a system favoured by Pretoria-based wine expert Tinus van Niekerk who says you must start off by dividing the information into the tangible (such as vintage, blend, alcohol, residual sugar, etc) and intangible (balance, elegance, class, distinction, etc).
On the tangibles, the Hanneli R meets the various criteria and Neil goes onto the tangibles which he notes are “harder and, for this, van Niekerk recommends the Mnemonic B-BECDEF.
“The first B stands for balance and, in his tasting notes for the wine, Christian Eedes, former editor of WINE magazine, calls it ‘remarkably lively and balanced.’
“The reaming six features come from a glossary straight out of Proust: Breeding, Elegance, Class, Distinction, Etherealness and Finesse. If you tick four of the six boxes, the wine is a masterpiece, A cynic may argue that an exercise in wine appreciation had been translated into splitting linguistic hairs but the, as most people think in words, six beacons can concentrate your thoughts.
“But that was unnecessary in this case. Hanneli R is a default masterpiece, as it was made by a husband out of love for his wife.”