Terroir – the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate …Fleur du Cap Chardonnay embodies its delicate and temperate terroir, echoing the splendor of nature. This 2012 award-winning South African white wine debuts at LCBO locations across Ontario this spring, and we had a taste of it at the iYellow Wine Cave.
Through a narrow alley behind Queen Street West, one can find the hidden cave that iYellow Wine Club inventively runs. A secretive yet relaxed setting where you can taste wines from all over the world, the club generously hosted the Fleur du Cap Chardonnay launch party. As I made my way down the wooden stairs to the cozy and cellar-like wine cave, I couldn’t help but notice its eclectic decor. With the various throwback 80’s chandeliers and brick accented walls, I immediately felt at ease amongst the crowd, despite my wine novice status.
Bestowing her friendly smile and without hesitation, the founder of iYellow Wine Club, Angela Aiello poured us glasses of the Chardonnay to taste.
One of South Africa’s best-known and premium collection of wines, the Fleur du Cap range is crafted with minimal human tempering, in a style determined by the grapes themselves.
Pieter Badenhorst, the winemaker at Die Bergkelder (the cellar in the heart of the Stellcnbosch Winelands) for the Fleur du Cap series, ensures his wines reflect the generosity of nature and selects only the finest vineyard sites and sun ripened grapes with his team. Light straw yellow in colour, this medium-bodied Chardonnay yields citrus and tropical fruit notes on the nose, with a hint of oak spices. The fine balance between acidity and sweetness is what gives this wine its distinctive sophistication.
The Fleur du Cap Chardonnay is best accompanied with rich poultry and seafood (particularly shellfish) dishes. Focusing on fresh and local ingredients, Sliced Gourmet catered the food at the launch party and served up two tantalizing dishes to pair the wine: Roasted Quail with preserved lemons and mielie pap (South African polenta), and Seared Scallops atop an organic pea puree. The bold herby citrus flavours in the quail contrasted the Chardonnay and brought out the sweetness of the wine, while the wine’s own citrus flavours cut through the sumptuousness scallops.
The friendly staff at iYellow Wine Club patiently described and educated us about the Chardonnay, along with other wines and their upcoming events.
Most people may feel that a wine club can be pretentious or intimidating, but iYellow offers accessible, down-to-earth atmospheres and informative venues for anyone to learn about and enjoy wines. The party at the Cave is a testament to this philosophy, and I’m keen to check out other events organized by this passionate group.
iYellow Wine Cave
(A great space for private parties)
243 Queen Street West
Fleur du Cap
Photos by Nellie Chen