Interview: Wim Truter of Fleur du Cap
By Christian Eedes, 10 December 2015
From the December issue of Business Day WANTED: Wim Truter, 34, recently became overall cellarmaster at Die Bergkelder, home to the Fleur du Cap brand after heading up the red winemaking team since 2013.
After completely his studies for a BSc Agriculture at the University of Stellenbosch, he worked around the world before joining producer-wholesaler in Distell in 2005, the company facilitating his Masters in all things wine through the Erasmus Mundus programme in Europe.
He lives with his wife Lidene, a speech and language therapist on a Stellenbosch residential estate with their two Labradors, Zoe and Mila.
Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Sauvignon Blanc 2014 is a multi-regional blend with grapes from Elgin and Darling. What do the two different areas contribute to the final wine?
In a nutshell, Elgin gives aromatics and overall finesse while Darling provides body and ensures longevity which is very important attribute of our Unfiltered range, even the Sauvignon.
It’s said that most consumers want to drink Sauvignon Blanc as young as possible but you’re offering a 2014. What does time in bottle do for the wine?
These wines are made to be able to age – we keep them on the lees for months which gives great mouthfeel and length but also great protection. Initially I find the Sauvignons very punchy, but with time in bottle comes great complexity, the acidity mellows out a bit and the overall drinkability of the wines just improves – what it’s really all about.
Some people love super-green Sauvignon Blanc and others are not so fond of it. How do you feel about this particular style?
Personally, I don’t like a style that is one dimensional and only shows one side of the variety, even though it might be very showy and dramatic. This applies to wines which are very green but also those that are extremely ripe with lots of tropical fruit. Our objective is to create a wine with balance and many layers of flavor – they are much more rewarding, especially if you can keep them in bottle for a year or so.
You say you have particularly fond memories of visiting Sancerre. What made it so special?
Obviously the wines were spectacular but what stayed with me was the warmth and generosity of the people. It really opened my eyes to how open and sharing the industry can be. I went to this one particular winery for an assignment and formal tasting and ended up having dinner with the winemaker and his family, delving into their personal cellar. And that was day one…
Sancerre is known for its Sauvignon Blanc but they also make some Pinot Noir. Your thoughts?
Very keen on these wines – maybe not as refined as Burgundy but they have a lovely fruit profile and texture and are also very affordable. In a sense, they remind me of some of our local Pinot.
You’re an avid reader. Everything from Frederick Forsyth to motivational self-help. Any recommendations?
I love everything from Deon Meyer for shear entertainment value – you have to read it in Afrikaans though. Then, a particular favourite is Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything”. I enjoy his wit and I promise you it will come in handy when you next play “30 seconds”.
Favourite trail run route and why?
The whole Simonsberg conservancy is special – beautiful forest and great single track. The great thing about trail running and mountain biking is that you have to focus on what is in front of you so there’s nothing better to clear the mind.
Favourite scuba diving spot and why?
I love Sodwana but I’ve had some of my most memorable dives on the Australian west coast near Coral Bay. Beautiful reefs but without the crowds you get on the Great Barrier.
What is your ideal food pairing with The Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Sauvignon Blanc 2014?
Fresh crayfish from the West Coast or a nice, fatty piece of salmon.