This is the much talked about high-end South African Chenin Blanc from one of the grape’s greatest ambassadors. I managed to catch up with Shawn Mathyse, a young winemaker who works with Ken on some of his small lot projects like this, and he told me more about it. It’s a 100% Chenin from a vineyard planted in 1965 in the Piekeneerskloof. The vines are own rooted and dry grown. The wine is made naturally made with indigenous fermentation and no sulfur dioxide added until bottling. Eight barrels of neutral oak, 400 litre capacity, were made. Shawn says it was quite a challenge to get the wine dry, and 5.5 g/l of residual sugar remains. This is a really interesting wine, full of interest, and with real ageing potential. Production is 2000 bottles and it is quite expensive (950 Rand). Give this time, folks, if you have access to it.
Ken Forrester Dirty Little Secret Chenin Blanc ‘One’ 2015 Piekeneerskloof, South Africa
Lovely ripe, supple, aromatic Chenin showing tangerines, herbs, lemons and fine spices, as well as some intriguing white flower notes. There are flavours of white peaches and ripe apples, and this wine, with just 12.5% alcohol, shows lovely detail and finesse. There is concentration here, but also detail. There are also floral aromatics that you wouldn’t normally associate with Chenin, which may come from the brief skin and stem contact before pressing. It’s a really lovely wine. 94/100
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