When Barbara Banke of US wine company Jackson Family Wines and Anthony Beck of Graham Beck Wines set out to create South Africa’s most expensive white wine, they went with Chardonnay in the form of Capensis (see here). Ken Forrester has now launched a wine at pretty much the same price of R950 a bottle from Chenin Blanc.
With The FMC from his Stellenbosch property now well established as a de luxe offering (current vintage 2013 selling for R449 a bottle), where to next? Dirty Little Secret is from a 1.6ha Piekenierskloof vineyard planted in 1965. Billed as a “natural wine”, juice underwent spontaneous fermentation and maturation lasted five months in old 400-litre barrels, the wine bottled unfined and unfiltered.
On the nose, flowers and some gravel-road dustiness before citrus and white peach plus a little leesy complexity. The palate is surprisingly rich given an alcohol of just 12.5% with moderate acidity (the wine underwent full malolactic fermentation) and the finish has a slightly salty quality to it. It’s a sophisticated offering, quite elusive and subtle, the yin to FMC’s yang.