Ken Forrester’s Icon Range is a small collection of unique and superlative wines which are the pinnacle of the estate’s efforts. The wines are sourced from single parcel vines where older and special vineyards produce exceptional fruit with extremely low yields. The winemaking techniques used are a culmination of knowledge and wisdom resulting in wines that have purity, intensity, complex concentration with an elegant balance. Each vintage of the range is destined to be limited with only the best barrels going into the bottle and only released when each has reached integration. The Icon range consists of the FMC, the Gypsy, and T Noble Late Harvest.
The FMC is what Ken Forrester considers the pinnacle and finest expression of Chenin Blanc. The grapes are carefully selected through multiple harvests of the primarily bush vines vineyard planted in 1974. The up to 10 harvests ensure that bunches are only picked at their peak, guaranteeing perfectly ripe fruit. These bunches are fermented by the naturally occurring wild yeast found on the fruit in French oak barrels, with about 50% new wood used. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is left to age in the barrels on the lees for 12 months. The resulting wine has a beautiful straw colour that still has a fresh clarity that tempts the eye. On the nose, you are greeted with rich and complex aromas of dried apricot, vanilla, and honey. The palate follows from the nose and opens with gentle notes of peach blossoms and an elegant minerality. The finish is long-lasting made possible by the refined acid structure. The FMC is an icon wine that invites you to slow down and savour every sip making this an ideal aperitif. However, it is, without doubt, a food wine. The richness enables it to effortlessly pair with rich dishes such as gently spiced seafood curries. Consider trying pairing it with a fragrant chicken tagine with orange blossom water and dried apricots.
The Gypsy is a Southern Rhône blend led by two-thirds Grenache, supported by Syrah. The fruit is hand-harvested with only the first ripest bunches selected. These are cool soaked prior to fermentation, then taken to old French oak to mature. The final wine has had up to three years in barrel to allow harmonisation of the final blend and results in a limited production of a little over 1500 bottles. These bottles are aged for a further two years before finally being released. The Gypsy is concentrated with strawberry, black cherry and raspberry with an intensity that reminds you of a fruit rollup. This wine has hints of dark spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, and when combined with the intense fruit there is a wild bramble character. The Gypsy is a bold elegant wine that demands to be paired with Provençal food like roast leg of lamb or pork belly with a lavender, fennel, and anise rub. This wine is great for laying down and keeping for at least ten years but is already rewarding if allowed to breathe in a decanter.
The “T” Noble Late Harvest is made from Chenin Blanc that has been gently transformed by Botrytis, which deepens the character and slowly dehydrates the exceptionally ripe berries. The berries are hand-selected as late as May from vines averaging 40+ years, with a very small yield of 2 tons per hectare. This wine is liquid gold to the eye, with juicy ripe peach, dried apricot and tropical fruits of pineapple and melon. The secondary characteristics of clove and wood spice come from 18 months in 400l French oak. The intense sweetness is balanced by the sour zip flavours of baked apples and a good acid backbone that make the honey lingering finish sing. The “T” Noble is the perfect accompaniment to a decadent cheese board, served with Turkish apricots and melon preserve. Another ideal pairing are fruit tarts with a crisp buttery pastry, rich vanilla Crème Pâtissière balanced with zingy fresh berries.
Ken Forrester’s Icon range is justifiably the pinnacle of the estate’s wines, each one is an icon in its own right. These are wines to savour and enjoy as a reminder of the specialness of life. To elevate a meal into a celebration or looking for a quality gift, look no further than the Icon Range.