What is in a name – from Shiraz to Syrah

In the last decade La Motte has been very focused on creating a specific style of wine with which the brand can be associated. With the exceptional quality of Shiraz grapes available and both CEO Hein Koegelenberg and Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche passionate about this variety, Shiraz has become a strong focus of La Motte, with the single varietal as well as the Pierneef Shiraz Viognier and signature Hanneli R blends gaining international recognition.

As many other grape varieties, Shiraz also originates from France, where both the grapes and wine are known as Syrah. In South Africa, Australia and some other New World countries, however, the same variety is known as Shiraz.

So why would we be changing from Shiraz to Syrah?

As the style of the wine in these New World countries often differs from the traditional French character, a wine called Shiraz is now expected to have the typical style of a New World wine, while Syrah is expected to be in the more classic style of the Rhône wine valley in France.

Like most other South African wines made from this variety, the term Shiraz is generally used and it has also been the case at La Motte.

With the style of the La Motte Shiraz, however, being much more in the character of the classic Syrah wines of the Northern Rhône than what is generally associated with the New World Shirazes, and in order to avoid any confusion when it comes to the style of the wine, La Motte has decided to release its 2011 vintage as La Motte Syrah and not Shiraz.

The 2011 La Motte Syrah promises elegance and finesse, with a beautiful balance between complexity and freshness. With a nose of aniseed, nutmeg, white pepper and raspberry fruit, the style is definitely more Syrah than the full-bodied character of ripe fruit, hints of chocolate and spice expected from Shiraz.

As previous vintages, the 2011 La Motte Syrah will be bottled in a traditional Rhône-style bottle, with the rest of the elegant and recognisable packaging staying exactly the same.

La Motte on twitter: @lamottewine



Alcohol 13.77%

Residual Sugar 2.7g/l

Total Acid 5.6 g/l

pH 3.54

Cellar door price: R139

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