Ken Forrester FMC Chenin Blanc 2008
Chenin Blanc from South Africa
The grapes are grown in Ken Forrester's estate vineyards at the foot of the Helderberg in Stellenbosch. The vineyards are farmed organically, and everything is done by hand. Grapes for the FMC are hand selected from a single block of low yielding Chenin bush vines planted in 1974. Each vine is pruned to 5 or 6 shoots, with 1 bunch per shoot. They are planted in Clovelly — a deep yellow sandy soil — on south-southwest-facing slopes
This iconic Chenin is a benchmark South African bottling, and what Ken Forrester consider to be the ultimate expression of the Chenin Blanc grape. Crafted in a rich, ripe style, it flaunts luscious flavors of honeycomb, dried apricot and pear, with exotic tropical fruit notes and alluring undercurrents of toasted nuts, vanilla and spice.
FMC (Forrester Meinert Chenin)
Wine Spectator - "A very ripe, exotic style, with a toasted hazelnut aroma leading the way for almond tuile, fig and glazed pear notes. The lush finish lets additional papaya and creamed peach notes chime in. This has an off-dry hint, but stays balanced. A flashy style for sure, but pulls it off. Drink now through 2011. 515 cases made."
International Wine Cellar - "Full, bright deep yellow. Wild, complex nose combines orange blossom, dried apricot, honey, brown spices and a whiff of lees. Lush, musky and carnal; in a full-blown, nearly unctuous but not overly sweet style , lifted by a strong peppermint and spice character. Finishes with hints of caramel and grilled nuts. Try this exotic, rather extreme wine with spicy Thai food. The grapes were picked in five passes for optimum ripeness, with some botrytis at the end, then fermented slowly in 400-liter French oak barrels."
Ken Forrester Winery
In 1993, hospitality industry veteran Ken Forrester and his wife Teresa purchased the historic Scholtzenhof estate, nestled at the base of the Helderberg in Stellenbosch. Originally established in 1689 as Zandberg, the property is one of the oldest wine farms in the Cape. Ken enlisted the help of his winemaker friend Martin Meinert in replanting and revitalizing the vineyards, with an aim to craft a white wine that could rival any in the world! And so it was that Ken Forrester Vineyards was established, with a focus on Chenin Blanc production. View all Ken Forrester Wines
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A long history of growing grapes and making wine, but less of a history on exporting it, and even lesser on the quality aspect. At the turn of the century (1900, that is), a surplus of wine in South Africa created a hierarchy of cooperatives, the biggest and best known being KWV. This organization seemed to favor quantity over quality and had most control over wines and vineyards until the late 1980's. Now, with a bit more competition, quality is coming around. Yet, South African wine was not even seen in American wine stores until the mid-1990's – the trade embargo on the country for their racial apartheid laws kept South African wine out of the US. When apartheid fell, so did the embargo, and SA bottles began showing up on US shelves.
White wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, much of it the Steen variety – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape gaining some raves is Sauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends was once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, which used to be a grape only your mother could love, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. The most popular regions of the country include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
About South AfricaRelated Links:
Notable FactsWhite wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, the majority of it is Steen – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape the critics rave aboutSauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends were once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, a man-made crossing between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. In describing red wines in South Africa, smoky and meaty are two terms that are common. Regionally, the most popular wine-making areas include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review44 out of 5 stars
1 rating, 1 with reviewAlma Leon Reveles - Oakland, CA43/23/2011I didn't try this wine, but our North Carolina buyer came back from a tasting last week and announced this as the BEST Chenin EVER. Thereupon he immediately puchased this wine that very day for our wine.com customers. Thought you might like to know it made a big impression on Bill.