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Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2016

Chenin Blanc from Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • RP91
13.5% ABV
  • JS90
  • WS89
  • JS89
  • WS89
  • D90
  • RP92
  • WS90
  • WE90
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4.1 17 Ratings
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4.1 17 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Golden hued and full bodied, with melon and spicy baked apple aromas. Layered, with mineral notes enhanced by honeycomb and caramel flavors from lees contact. This wine is a great example of the harmonious balance which can be achieved between fruit and delicate oak/vanilla flavors, as they combine to form complex, soft flavors with sufficient body to enhance even spicy and full flavored meals.

Can be served with varied spicy dishes, full flavored fish or chicken dishes. Ideal with crayfish, prawns. A true benchmark for relaxed enjoyment.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc actually comes from 35-year-old vines and is partially barrel fermented. It has a very refined bouquet, touches of white peach, apricot and walnut, a hint of smoke emerging with time. The palate is well balanced with melon, grapefruit, saline notes with fine depth and slightly chalky on the finish. This is much better than the 2014 I tasted on my last trip.
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Ken Forrester

Ken Forrester

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Ken Forrester, Stellenbosch, 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.

Stellenbosch

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South Africa’s most famous wine-producing district, Stellenbosch, surrounds its historic town with the same name; fine winemaking here dates back to the late 1600s. Its valleys of granite, sandstone and alluvial loam soils between the towering blue-grey mountains of Stellenbosch, Simonsberg and Helderberg have the capacity to produce beautiful wines from many varieties. The climate is warm Mediterranean, tempered by the cool Atlantic air of nearby False Bay.

Perhaps most well-known for its Pinotage and Bordeaux blends, Stellenbosch also produces noteworthy wines from Syrah, Chenin blanc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc. The district’s wards—Banghoek, Bottelary, Devon Valley, Jonkershoek Valley, Papegaaiberg, Polkadraai Hills and Simonsberg-Stellenbosch—all produce distinctive wines from vines with relatively low yields.

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.

PIN367363_2016 Item# 211042