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Ken Forrester Wines

Website : www.kenforresterwines.com

Without the efforts of men like Ken Forrester, South African Chenin Blanc might be scarcely more than a footnote to the country’s recent winemaking history – a workhorse grape responsible for vast amounts of forgettably bland white wine.

But this Zambia-born former restaurateur saw beyond the grape’s obvious quaffability, placing it firmly at the centre of his resurrection of the historic Scholtzenhof farm on the slopes of Stellenbosch’s Helderberg mountain in the early 1990s.

Twenty years on, Ken is known as ‘Mr Chenin’ and wines such as The FMC have elevated South African Chenin to classic status – but the Scholtzenhof renaissance is about more than the ugly duckling transformation of an underrated varietal.

The Helderberg vineyards, Ken discovered, also contained what were at the time the only plantings of Grenache in Stellenbosch, dating from 1953 and helping to create what was in 1996 a unique South African blend of Shiraz and Grenache – and which now finds expression in wines such as The Renegade and The Gypsy.

When not revolutionising the South African wine industry, Ken remains a staunch family man, also surrounded by a veritable menagerie of several dogs, horses, stable cats, geese, owls and guineafowl. And he hasn’t entirely left his restaurant days behind – Ken part-owns renowned nearby restaurant 96 Winery Road with his brother Allan (also restaurant manager), winemaker Martin Meinert and chef Natasha Wray.

Other wines by this producer

  1. 2012 Petit Cabernet Merlot, Ken Forrester Wines

    A youthful, fresh Bordeaux-styled blend showing plums and spiciness. Very accessible with a smooth and balanced texture.

  2. 2013 Chenin Blanc Reserve, Ken Forrester Wines

    Full bodied and well rounded with a complex structure. Bursting with flavours of dried apricots, pineapple and hints of vanilla and honey that last long on the finish.

  3. 2012 The FMC, Chenin, Ken Forrester Wines

    The pinnacle of what we consider to be the finest expression of the grapes of this varietal an icon chenin, a challenge to the world! Rich, layered with dried apricot, vanilla and honey. Will gain additional complexity with cellaring.

  4. 2014 Petit Rosé, Ken Forrester

    This very elegant bright salmon pink Rosé overwhelms the nose with aromas of freshly picked strawberries, rose petal and cherry flavours. It follows through on the palate with delicious ripe raspberries with a delicate finish.

  5. 2014 Petit Chenin, Ken Forrester Wines

    A youthful fresh wine with quince and pear drop flavours. Real freshness on the palate with crunchy green apple and grapefruit flavours. Good mouthfeel and appetisingly tangy finish.

  6. 2011 T Noble Late Harvest, Ken Forrester Wines

    This golden wine with fresh, green tones is in a lighter style, clean yet unctuously sweet. Sumptuous peach, apricot flavours, overlaid with a tropical lushness of melon and pineapple. Ripe sweetness, yet tangy, with sweet and sour zip, wood spice on the finish.

  7. 2012 Merlot Reserve, Ken Forrester Wines

    Hints of cherries and mint with meat-spice and smoky undertones. Softly rounded & accessible wine with balanced tannins for early drinking.

  8. 2014 Petit Pinotage, Ken Forrester Wines

    Classic Pinotage aromas of spicy mulberries, plum pudding and cherries, with more subtle hints of smoky bacon. Juicy and accessible with a soft palate and delicious fruit concentration.

  9. 2011 'The Renegade' Shiraz-Grenache, Ken Forrester Wines

    This elegant blend (our 10th vintage) displays Old World Style with New World fruit. Hint of Grenache's earthy rustic charm and Shiraz's noble spice with hints of nutmeg and salty black olive on the finish. Balanced with soft integrated tannins.

  10. 2014 Chenin Blanc Reserve, Ken Forrester Wines

    Full bodied and well rounded with a complex structure. Bursting with flavours of dried apricots, pineapple and hints of vanilla and honey that last long on the finish.

  11. 2011 The Gypsy, Ken Forrester Wines

    The character is somewhat wild, a little brambly with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, dark spices, with vanilla scents and a distinct, concentrated red-fruit focus. Great for laying down and keeping for at least ten years but already rewarding if allowed to breathe in a decanter.

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