The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and rare Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition "Steven Spurrier's Fine Wines column (see blue link below).
Dirty Little Secret 2015 - Dec 2017 Decanter review
"Now a non-vintage blend of the 2016 and 2017 harvests, DLS is a funky, waxy, just-off-dry Chenin from Piekenierskloof, deliberately made in an oxidative style. Bready, yeasty and complex, with notes of orange zest and glycerol-derived sweetness". 94/100 Tim Atkin.
Without the efforts of men like Ken Forrester, South African Chenin Blanc might be scarcely more than a footnote to the country’s recent winemaking history. This Zambia-born former restaurateur saw beyond the grape’s obvious quaffability, placing it firmly at the centre of his resurrection of the historic Scholtzenhof farm on the slopes of Stellenbosch’s Helderberg mountain in the early 1990s.
Twenty years on, Ken is affectionately known as ‘Mr Chenin’.
When not revolutionising the South African wine industry, Ken remains a staunch family man, also surrounded by a veritable menagerie of several dogs, horses, stable cats, geese, owls and guineafowl. And he hasn’t entirely left his restaurant days behind – Ken part-owns renowned nearby restaurant 96 Winery Road with his brother Allan (also restaurant manager), winemaker Martin Meinert and chef Natasha Wray.
This wine is made by soaking the grape juice on the skins and stalks before pressing takes place in wooden vats. The fermentation is done using wild or natural yeasts after which malolactic fermentation is allowed to occur before the wine is moved into French oak barrels for a 5-month "rest" before being bottled with no filtration.
The result is a tight, bright, minerally wine with good texture and mouthfeel and an interesting hint of phenolic structure - like soft acidity and pear drop intensity. It has been built to age and gain complexity in bottle.
The Ken Forrester Winery have taken a trip backwards in time to make a thoroughly modern wine. A wine that will age beautifully for at least the next ten years, a tribute to the age and concentration of the vines, as well as to low, very low interruptive winemaking, a natural wine in every sense and finally bottled totally naturally with no cold stabilization or fining and it is crystal clear, slightly golden in a good way, with a still lime green rim and how did they do that? Well it's unfiltered, unfined ... and just a Dirty Little Secret - naturally!
See also blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from Ken.
Ken Forrester, Dirty Little Secret (Two) Chenin Blanc NV - fiche technique
Very vibrant in the glass - a bright gold with green glint to the rim. Nose is intense but restrained, with lots of character: set honey, baked apple strudel, warm spice and a touch of grapefruit. The palate is concentrated and tight but will open out. What you find on the nose transfers to the pallet, but with a fresh acidity holding it together. A beautiful texture. This should hold together over the next 10-20 yrs. (Exel's thanks to importer John for this tasting note).