November 15th, 2010

Sarah Goes To Ken Forrester (Stellenbosch, SA).

One last mention of South African wine for a while, once again the whites at this estate were the show stoppers.

2009 Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc A Chardonnay lovers Chenin. All native yeasts are used during fermentation and 30% of the juice is fermented in barrel. The resulting wine is round and slightly toasty with classic flavors of yellow apple, lanolin, smoke, stones, and pear.  

2003 Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc: Chenin grows up. It is round, rich, with evolved flavors of marmalade, kumquat, honey, caramel, lanolin, bright acid, and a long finish  

2008 Ken Forrester FMC Chenin Blanc: This is another level of Chenin entirely. Picked in 5-6 tries from 40 year old bush vines, the juice from each trie is fermented separately and blended later. Both the nose and palate have exotic flavors of jasmine, green tea, yellow apple, star anise, toasted walnut, basil, honey, lanolin. Stellar  

2007 Ken Forrester Merlot : A style of Merlot that lets the fruit shine (mint, cherry, herbaceous, blackberry, roasted coffee) with enough balance to give the wine good structure.  

2006 Ken Forrester The Gypsy GSM: An African interpretation of an Aussie classic. The featured grape, Grenache, comes from vines that are fifty years old. The wines spend twenty four months total in barrel. After twelve months the wines that have been aging separately are blended. This wine is made for cellaring and was fairly closed down when we tried it. While lacking in exuberant fruit flavors, the wine is balanced with the structure to age.  

2008 Ken Forrester “T” Noble Late Harvest: A lively sweet wine with excellent balancing acidity. The botyrtized grapes were picked in 6 tries, fermented with native yeast, and aged for a year in barrel. This wine has the potential to age for decades. At the moment it is showing flavors of apricot, pear tatin, crème fraiche, vanilla, marmalade, floral, honey, and praline.