This South African white is one of the world’s great cheap wines. So why did I have to taste it in a restaurant in San Diego, instead of buying it in a store in Dallas?
You know the reason for that: the three tier-system.
But the Wine Curmudgeon will not let that deter him from his life’s work. What’s a constitutionally-protected regulatory system when terrific cheap wine is at stake?
Because the Ken Forrester ($10, purchased, 13%) is terrific — a surprisingly rich mouth feel given this is $10 chenin blanc, plus green apple fruit, a tiny hint of honey in the middle, and even some minerality on the finish. In this, it’s the kind of chenin — not sweet, not syrupy, not a sauvignon blanc knockoff, but with character and interest — that makes me wonder why the grape isn’t more popular. I rarely quote producer websites, but this is spot on: “Perfect everyday drinking wine.”
Especially if you live in the ninth largest city in the country where 100-degree summer days cry out for this kind of wine. Or, as several of my colleagues said when we bought the wine in San Diego, “What do you mean, you can’t buy this in Dallas?” Which, come to think of it, has always been a problem.
Highly recommended, but since it’s not for sale in Dallas, it can’t be in the $10 Hall of Fame. Unless I change the rules, but I don’t run that kind of Hall of Fame.