Ken Forrester – The FMC
Ken Forrester is an expert wine-maker who is often known as ‘Mr Chenin Blanc‘ due to his work with a grape which was once despised in South Africa. He was particularly determined to rescue this white wine, which has had a reputation for being over-planted in unsuitable areas along South Africa’s wine routes, but is sometimes unjustly ignored. Ken Forrester has managed to blend Chenin Blanc to produce a number of distinctive wines, but he says that what he really wanted to do was to make “a World class white wine” using only the Chenin Blanc. This seemingly impossible dream has come into reality with the production of the Ken Forrester The FMC.
There is some debate about what the initials stand for, although the ‘C’ is definitely Chenin. The FM most likely stands for Forrester and Meinert, who has helped the former to produce this wine. Other reports suggest that it really stands for F— Magic, illustrating Forrester’s belief in the power of the wine, but it is not really likely for something which is to be printed on a bottle label. No matter what the label means, it is the quality of wine inside the bottle that counts, and in this instance, Forrester has managed to produce a distinctive Chenin Blanc that looks and tastes excellent.
The development of the wine was a long and difficult process, and Forrester struggled to produce The FMC for many years, only finally succeeding in 2000, releasing their first FMC wine in 2001. The main character of this wine is produced by the deep oak barrels which the wine was rested in, but there are plenty of other flavours for those looking for an excellent flavour and taste to their wines. For example there is the smoked wood added to the fermenting wine, which gives a toasty, spicy mix. There is also a touch of the well-known botrytis fungus, which adds a sweetness and tartness to the wine which would otherwise be missing an important note or two. Fruits such as lemon, apricot and banana, and spices such as nutmeg, vanilla and almond, depending upon the vintage, help to make the taste of the wine exquisite and unexpected.
Many fans of South African wine are agreed that Ken Forrester The FMC is one of the best examples of a pure Chenin Blanc available, and while it is expensive, it is also a wine that will grow into the cost, providing a deeply luxurious maturity. Experts recommend that this wine be kept for several years to come in order to encourage all of the deep tastes and flavours in the wine to come to the surface. This wine has been compared to a burgundy due to the complexity and depth of character in the wine, and it should be treated as though it were a very expensive red wine. The best wines should always be given time to grow, and after 3 or more years of maturity, The FMC should be an excellent wine for any palate.