I always love rose, whether it’s an inexpensive quaffer or a gem from Provence, France.
But I’m quite particular about Chardonnay. Right now it is stylistic for winemakers to produce Chardonnay that sings with the fingerprint of terrior – that is embodying the qualities and elements of the grape. I love my Chardonnays to be touched by the hand of Mother Nature and by the winemaker!
As a non-taster, I hunt for huge flavors and big impact in Chardonnay. I’ll drink the delicate ones, but due to having so few taste buds, these romantic wines provide me with little flavor satisfaction. I love “in-my-face” Chards. That means I’ll always give a thumb’s up to the effects of malo lactic fermentation, sur lie aging and barrel fermentation and aging and lots of toasting of the barrel. Call me out of style if you will. I don’t really care.
(By the way, being a non-taster is not any worse or better than a taster or super taster. We all experience the health benefits and quirks.)
I recently sampled a Chardonnay that falls somewhere in between. Gorgeous. Remember the name, “Fleur du Cap.” This Chardonnay embodies the partnership between Mother Nature and the team of viticulturalists and winemakers at Die Bergkelder, the famous ‘cellar in the mountain’ in the heart of the Stellenbosch Winelands of South Africa. Die Bergkelder is an International award winning winery.
The 2012 Fleur du Cap Chardonnay, (CSPC 358960), $12.80, is big and rich with aromas of apples (from the grape) and butterscotch (from the barrels). The creamy palate offers refreshing acidity in harmony with apples and cream. It’s absolutely lovely. The quality for price benefit makes this wine even more attractive.
Check out this video that celebrates Fleur du Cap
Sourced from grapes grown in Stellenbosch and Robertson, the Chard spent 8 months aging in barrel with some lees contact. The lees were stirred every 2 weeks to broaden the wine’s palate. Lees contact means the wine was left to rest on its dead yeast cells, particles that float to the bottom during fermentation. Sur lie contact and/or aging gives the wine additional complexity. In this case, the winemaker stirred the lees into the wine every 2 weeks.
In this video cellarmaster Andrea Freeborough talks about the production process of Fleur du Cap’s award winning wines.
Because this particular Chardonnay is both crisp and rich, it can partner to a whole range of summer foods. At such a reasonable price, this Chardonnay is ideal to pair with appetizers before barbecue entertaining. All dips with cream cheese or Greek yogurt, as a base ingredient will serve as a complementary partner. Try spinach or smoked salmon dips. A white bean dip with olive oil, garlic, Parmigianno-Reggiano, lemon and basil will also work with this wine. The lemon and saltiness of the cheese will work nicely with the wine’s crisp acidity.
If barbecuing pair this wine with salmon burgers with lemon and capers or tuna burgers with garlic mayo. The wine’s acidity will nicely offset the saltiness of the lemon and capers, all the while having enough weight to handle this fatty fish and fatty mayo.
For your vegetarian friends, prepare Edamame Burgers with Parsley-Garlic Mayo to complement the 2012 Fleur du Cap Chardonnay.
In a food process or blender combine 2 cups of thawed, cooked edamame, 1 can of chickpeas (with liquid), 1 cup of sliced mushrooms, ½ cup of unsalted cashews, ½ cup of nutritional yeast, 4 cloves of garlic, ½ teaspoon of cumin and ¼ teaspoon of liquid smoke (You can get the liquid smoke at Firehouse Gourmet), 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Transfer the paste to a large bowl and slowly add in 3 ½ cups of chickpea flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerator for at least a half hour until the mixture is stiff. Form the mixture into patties and fry on each side until golden. If you use gluten-free buns, then the whole recipe is gluten-free.
To make the mayo, in a food processor add 1 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 4 cloves garlic and ½ cup of fresh parsley. Puree until smooth.
Serve your vegetarian burger with slices of fresh avocado, red onions and fresh greens on a baguette or bun.
This is a super healthy meal to pair with your 2012 Fleur du Cap Chardonnay. The avocado and mayonnaise are well matched with the wine’s creamy texture.
Category: EVERYTHING FOOD AND WINE