Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ken Forrester's Dirty Little Secret

This was revealed last week as his latest block buster Natural Chenin Blanc of which only 3,500 bottles have been made and which will sell on the farm for R950 a bottle. And they will sell. Ken always pushes the envelope in quality and in price. And chutzpah and charm. He can, he has proved it. He introduced his first Old Vine Reserve in 1994, then the FMC (Forrester Meinert Chenin) in 2002 at a record price of R160 a bottle, it sold out immediately. With this wine he has shown the young guns that older experienced wine makers can also do fabulous Natural wine from the Swartland. He needed to find a new Chenin vineyard with the same character as Stellenbosch and this is it. The grapes are from old vines planted in l965 in Piekenierskloof.
The label front...
and back. Note: only 12.5 alcohol. We really liked the wine. At first shy on the nose as it was served very cold, then yeasty lees and a whiff of barrel. Golden fruit emerges, loquats, golden delicious apples and ripe persimmon. Long integrated flavours with nice crisp apple acids and wood notes on the end. It changes as it warms up in the glass, growing more aromatic and giving off hints of ginger spice and white pepper, and there is a prickle of citrus on the tongue
Guests were greeted with Ken Forrester Sparklehorse Chenin blanc MCC and a selection of canapés,: cream cheese on crisp fish skin topped with caviar and hoi sin siu mei dumplings filled with vegetables. Fish skin is one of those 50/50 ingredients like fresh coriander. You either love it or loathe it.
(Photo provided by Executive chef Grant Cullingworth)
Ken Forrester reveals his Dirty Little secret
The audience of media listening to how the wine was found and made and tasting it for the first time.
We are still intrigued with the 'One' on the label. Will there be more in the future?
A display of the wine with others of the Ken Forrester wines
He told us that years ago, working with Martin Meinert, it was their ambition to make the best Chenin in the world. They tried for many years and it was slow coming, Then in 2000 Matthew Dukes tasted it and loved it and the FMC was born. Then came the Sparklehorse Chenin MCC in 2012 and everyone has been asking: "SO what is next?" The secret is out, this is it
The menu of small tastes matched with the different flavours, aromas and nuances in the wine. They were very complex and we didn’t quite understand where some of them were coming from
A mini sweet waffle with labneh cheese and white chocolate. We couldn’t detect any caviar. Then the very creamy smooth foie gras on a circle of sweet almond nougat, topped with a herb and some light cake crumbs
Another controversial taster, chick peas with caramelised aubergine. Only, they were not caramelised and were rather slimy. We didnt see the link to the chenin
Exec Chef Grant Cullingworth of the Westin Executive Club telling us about the tasters he prepared
The generation of bottles of Teresa (named for Ken's wife), the Noble Late Harvest Dessert wine, now called T
The second round of tasters: A tempura prawn topped with a Sriracha chilli maresco sauce and a tiny cold poached quail egg on top of a smoked salmon maki roll
And the final pair, a mini taco topped with crayfish pico de gallo salsa on guacamole and a mini Harissa lamb donut dredged in dukkah
The team: Ken with the chefs, PRO Nicolette Waterford and a friend
Ken with his lovely girls: Nicolette Waterford, Aletté van Vuuren, Market Development & Communication, and Ina Smith who manages the Chenin Blanc Association of South Africa. Ken is currently the Chairman of the Association
It's all about the wine. Thank you for the tasting and the bottle to take home for a special occasion soon
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus

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