Wine of the Week

Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2015

At a recent wine tasting, I was reintroduced to an old favorite of mine.  From the Stellenbosch Region of South Africa and from a winery renowned for its use of the distinguished grape, Chenin Blanc, comes the 2015 Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc.

Probably more known for the wines made in France from the Vouvray Region, Chenin Blanc does have a global interest.  In fact, in South Africa it is the most widely planted grape accounting for approximately 20% of the vineyards planted.  When you consider that the majority of Ken Forrester's vineyard is planted with Chenin, it's not hard to realize that he knows a lot about the grape and produces some of the best examples around.

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Producing predominately 3 lines of Chenin, the Petite Series, Reserve and Icon Ranges, each wine shows a style unto itself.  The Petite showing light and lively nuances, the Reserve building upon those qualities but adding a touch of oak to firm up the wine and give it a richer feeling and the Icon, a wine called The FMC, with it rich layers and aging ability, a wine I have enjoyed many times in the past.

It was the Reserve Range that I had the pleasure to come into contact with, so it really didn't take any time to decide this was my next Wine of the Week.  

Chenin is known for its acidity.  Bright and bracing.  Coming from 37 year old vines and a short time under French Oak fermentation, that acidity combines to produce aromas of honey and melon quality, and upon the palate the wine gives forth a beautiful balance of fruit, delicate oak and mineral notes that makes this the perfect wine for lighter meats as well as seafood.  I was hard pressed to set my glass down for too long a period.

At right around $15 a bottle, this is a great wine to have around for the upcoming Spring and Summer months.  Should you wish to see what Chenin Blanc is capable of, try finding The FMC.  It is a little harder to find and costs range around $60.  I believe it rivals some of the great white wines available.