Wine of the Week 25: La Motte’s Vin de Joie Rosé 2023

La Motte Rose

Dry, elegant and fresh with sophisticated South of France vibes...

It’s not often that La Motte adds a new wine to their portfolio …. in fact cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche says their Joie de Vin Rosé (launched in 2021) is only the third new addition in his 24 years in the cellars at the heritage Franschhoek wine farm. “There was the Pierneef Collection in 2005 and our MCC in 2007. The house rule is if we want to introduce a new wine we have to let an old one go.” And how do you let go of a classic… in the end it was their straw wine that made way for the new rosé.

They’d been thinking about adding a rosé to the La Motte Collection for a while, but it was a visit that La Motte CEO Hein Koegelenberg made to the ProWein Wine Trade Show in Germany in 2019 that sealed the deal. “I was impressed by the elegance of a Provençal rosé when I browsed the French wine hall,” says Koegelenberg. “Tasting the wine and talking to the winemaker at the brand’s booth, I found out that the wine was made just outside La Motte d’Aigues – the town after which we believe La Motte was named!”

The birth of a new rosé

La Motte Rose Wine

This serendipity led to Koegelenberg bringing back this and other top Provençal wines for Terblanche and the team to taste, in a bid to create a wine that conveyed this elegance. “I decided at the start we should go with grenache as the base,” says Terblanche, “but I experimented with the origin and percentage of the varieties.” He sourced grapes from two producers for the original vintage, one in the Swartland and other in the Piekenierskloof (an area known for excellent grenache).

However there were logistical difficulties in sourcing from that far away, getting picking right and transporting the grapes that distance. “We can’t harvest full bins, as the grapes get crushed and extract too much colour,” says Terblanche. For the 2023 vintage, he replaced the Piekenierskloof contingent with the first harvest of a newly-established grenache vineyard in the Helderberg. “Not every vintage is the same, we blend and play around until we get the right combination, but over the three seasons it’s always been a grenache base, with mourvèdre next and a little bit of syrah and cinsault,” he says.

La Motte Rose Joie De Vin

The happy result combines bright Provençal elegance with a full expression of South African terroir: grapes for the Vin de Joie Rosé 2023 are grown in soil types representing all three of the main mother rock formations in South Africa (decomposed variations of shale, granite and Table Mountain sandstone).

La Motte Joie de Vin Rosé 2023

La Motte Rose Pairing

A delicate salmon pink with hints of onion skin, the wine is dry, elegant and fresh. Tasting notes speak of a restrained nose with notes of melon, grapefruit and nectarine, a polished and juicy palate, refreshing acidity and nectarine aftertaste. The first chilled and smooth sip conjures up sophisticated South of France vibes, transporting the palate and imagination to a French Riviera yacht, or a restored Luberon farmhouse… and really does spark joy (joie de vin!) with a South African sunset or long and lazy lunch.

As to food pairings, “If you match with the eyes, it matches on the palate,” says Terblanche, “salmon belongs with this wine, and so does paella, or crayfish, charcuterie, anything Mediterranean. And it’s great on its own as an aperitif.”
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The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 27 March 2024