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Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2010

Chenin Blanc from South Africa
  • RP92
  • WE90
  • WS90
14.5% ABV
  • RP91
  • WS89
  • JS89
  • WS89
  • D90
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4.9 6 Ratings
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4.9 6 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This full-bodied Chenin harmoniously balances ripe fruit with delicate oak nuances. It flaunts a rich, luscious mouthfeel, with flavors of melon and tropical fruit enhanced by complex mineral notes and hints of spice. Extended lees contact imparts an alluring honeycomb character.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Aged for 12 months in the same oak regime as the regular Chenin Blanc with the fruit picked a little riper, the 2010 Reserve Chenin Blanc has a well-defined bouquet with very well integrated oak and hints of hazelnut and spice. It has a very well balanced palate with powerful citrus fruits laced with lemon curd, orange essence, apricot and brioche that dovetail into a precise finish. This Chenin comes highly recommended, especially for the price. Drink now-2017+
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
A strong toasty streak lines the essence of the beautiful Chenin Blanc, adding character to the apple and pear fruit core. The mouthfeel is full and rich without being overdone thanks to the balanced acidity, while nuances of sweet spice, pie crust and wood-grilled Red Delicious all linger well into the long finish.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Juicy and well-focused, with mouthwatering pear, fig and apple notes laced with brioche and persimmon. Shows good cut on the finish. Drink now through 2013. 1,250 cases imported.
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Ken Forrester

Ken Forrester

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Ken Forrester, South Africa
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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.

South Africa

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The South African wine renaissance is in full swing. Impressive red and white bargains abound. South Africa has a long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

Chenin Blanc

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Responsible for some of the world’s highest quality white wines, Chenin Blanc doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Unquestionably at its best in its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc can do it all—from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still or sparkling. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Chenin Blanc is planted in California, namely in the Clarksburg AVA but also very widely planted in South Africa, where it is occasionally labeled as “Steen.”

In the Glass

Chenin Blanc ranges from austere to richly sweet, with aromas of McIntosh apple, honey, beeswax, jasmine, hay, and quince. When grown in warmer regions, Chenin Blanc develops richer, tropical-fruit flavors, such as pineapple and melon, as well as ripe stone fruit. Often these wines carry some residual sugar.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin Blanc has the structure, austerity, and chalky acidity to work with antipasti or unadorned seafood, such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food.

Sommelier Secret

There are several appellations throughout the Loire Valley devoted to producing different styles of Chenin Blanc. Vouvray, Saumur, Anjou, and Savennieres are known for excellent dry and off-dry wines; Vouvray, along with Montlouis, Bonnezeaux, and Quarts de Chaume, produces glorious late-picked sweet wines whose high sugar levels are offset by Chenin Blanc’s hallmark acidity. Sparkling Crèmant de Loire, Saumur, and Vouvray provide delightfully affordable and flavorful alternatives to Champagne.

GZT1575615_2010 Item# 112605