Known Pleasures is the brainchild of Phil Sexton and Steve Flamsteed from Innocent Bystander, and this McLaren Vale wine is inspired by the music of Ian Curtis and Joy Division. Phil happened to be present at Curtis’ last gig back in the UK and this wine is a tribute to the music important to both men. Sounds like a great PR story but having spent a little time with Steve, no doubt it is legit.
And the wine is superb – biodynamically grown fruit with Steve’s usual light touch, it is pale golden in colour. Balanced, subtle and savoury it show acacia, apricot and lemon rind fruit. It’s also bone dry with almond husk and caramel complexity, exceptional concentration and a super long finish. It’s a Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne blend but that’s hardly the point – as it is not meant to be a big, flavoursome wine. But it is a complex and textural masterpiece. Texture is often forgotten in the world of wine and this wine shows just how important it can be. No doubt best with subtle food to bring out all its fantastic detail. Something like a spread of cheese from Goat’s cheese all the way through to some Pecorino, although avoid the Blue!