Wine of the Week: La Motte Syrah 2019

Wednesday, 22 May, 2024
The slow season is here, and we’re delighted to introduce the recently released 2019 vintage of La Motte Syrah – a wine that, right on theme, loves to linger.

Situated in South Africa’s beautiful Franschhoek Valley, La Motte is home to the finest wines, recognised internationally for their exceptional quality. La Motte is one of three wine estates owned by the Rupert family.

With its picturesque setting and historic charm, La Motte is an enchanting choice for those who appreciate authentic Cape Winelands. They invite visitors to join them for wine tasting in the Historic Cellar, indulge with a relaxed meal or tempting treats at the bakery, stroll through their picturesque gardens, or take a hike to explore the natural beauty of the Franschhoek Valley.

Slow out of the blocks during the picking season, the grapes for the 2019 La Motte Syrah originate exclusively from vineyards on the Franschhoek estate. 

Between 10 and 30 years old, the vineyards grow in a variety of soil profiles from sandstone and granite origin – heavier textured against the mountain slopes and sandier, well-drained in the valley. Different clones and microclimates with altitudes between 200 and 300 metre above sea level all contribute to the wine’s complexity. 

The reason it had such a slow start (as well as promising analyses with high acidity and low pH levels) was because of a relatively cool beginning to summer. The 2019 Syrah harvest on La Motte was not only late, but also the smallest since 2005.

Picking up to a more regular tempo in the cellar, grapes were cooled overnight before being destemmed. The whole berries went into stainless steel tanks for fermentation between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius.

Matured in French oak barrels of which 30% were new, the regular 14-month maturation period for La Motte’s acclaimed Syrah was extended due to Covid, and the wine was allowed to linger in oak for a complete 24 months.

With the finest selection, unhurried maturation, and the addition of 14% Durif, the 2019 La Motte Syrah has exceptional depth and complexity.

In what is a beautiful balance of oak and fruit, blackberry flavours rendezvous with the subtle seduction of cigar and coffee and exciting spice notes of prominent nutmeg and aniseed. Despite the complexity of the nose, the palate is quite restrained with the elegance, finessed finish and lingering aftertaste this Syrah is renowned for.

Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche expects exceptional maturation of the 2019 vintage and suggests that it will continue to develop beautifully for the next 15 years.

He also believes the wine’s full-bodied character will harmonise beautifully with rich, flavourful dishes. Do try the 2019 La Motte Syrah with venison and pepper-crusted steaks, or peppery meatballs with tomato, red pepper and red wine sauce.

Pairing recipe: Peppery meatballs with tomato, red pepper and red wine sauce

"There are few things that beat the sight and smell of hearty meatballs in a thick sauce. Served with freshly cooked pasta and parmesan cheese, it’s comfort food that dreams are made of. Serve with your favourite type of pasta – any shape will do!" - Ilse van der Merwe of The Food Fox


(serves 4)

For the sauce

  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 10 ml (2 teaspoons) smoked paprika
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) dry red wine
  • 2 x cans whole Italian tomatoes, pureed to smooth pulp
  • 5 ml sugar
  • salt and pepper

For the meatballs

  • 500 g extra lean beef mince
  • 1,5 cups soft breadcrumbs (about 2 slices of bread, shredded)
  • 1 XL egg
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried origanum
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 30 ml olive oil, for frying
  • 500 g pasta, freshly cooked (for serving)
  • grated parmesan cheese (for serving)

    a handful fresh basil leaves (for serving, optional)


For the sauce

  1. In a pot over the stovetop, heat the oil and add the onion, garlic and red pepper.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the onions are soft and have some colour.
  3. Add the paprika and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, stirring, then add the wine and stir to deglaze.
  4. Add the pureed tomatoes, sugar and season generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Turn the heat to low, cover partially with a lid and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring now and then. If you prefer a smoother sauce, remove from the heat and use a stick blender to carefully blend to a less chunky consistency.
  6. Set aside.

For the meatballs

  1. In a mixing bowl, add the mince, crumbs, egg, pepper, salt, origanum and cumin.
  2. Stir until well mixed (or use electric beaters to do this, it works like a charm).
  3. Roll into balls the size of golf balls.
  4. In a wide pan, heat the oil and fry the meatballs on all sides until browned but not fully cooked.
  5. Pour the sauce all over the meatballs, then bring to a simmer over low heat.
  6. Cook until the meatballs are just cooked and still tender.
  7. Serve warm ladled over freshly cooked pasta with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Buy this beautiful Syrah via online our online shop,



This article originally appeared on Cape Tourism, as part of a collaboration with