King of Cultivars

2010 La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon is released

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As the king of cultivars, Cabernet Sauvignon, perhaps more so than all others lends itself to maturation. Especially when made in the traditional complex and elegant style, Cabernet Sauvignon should mature beautifully. Vintages differ however and we thought it would be interesting to compare the 2005 La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon with the recently released 2010 vintage.

Grapes for the 2010 vintage originate from Walker Bay (30%), Agter-Paarl (30%), Wellington (25%) and Swartland (15%). After picking, grapes were allowed to cool overnight before being sorted by hand first before and then again after de-stalking. After maturation in 225-litre French oak barrels (50% new oak, 25% second-fill and 25% third-fill), the Cabernet Sauvignon was blended with 5% Petit Verdot to enhance the complexity and balance. Bottled in 2011, 10 000 x 6 cases were released at the end of 2012.

Despite veterans in the wine industry describing 2010 as one of the most difficult vintages of their career, the La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon turned out as a full-bodied wine with firm structure and fine tannins, and Cellar Master, Edmund Terblanche recommends cellaring up to 2023. Expect varietal aromas such as wild berries, tomato leaf, cedar, cinnamon, dark chocolate and prominent truffle.

The 2005 vintage in comparison had more favourable growing conditions. For this vintage, the grapes originated from vineyards in the Swartland (48%), Stellenbosch (18%), Paarl (15%), Walker Bay (12%) and Wellington (7%). Here 10% Cabernet Franc was blended with the Cabernet Sauvignon to enhance complexity.

When the 2005 was released, flavours such as prominent berries, cedar-wood, toffee and a hint of rosemary spices were mentioned. After eight years in the bottle, Edmund picked up on dark chocolate, cigar box, coffee and plum flavours. The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon has matured to a full, round wine, well balanced with juicy but firm tannins.

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