When it comes to reds, Ken Forrester favours varieties associated with the southern Rhône on the basis that the climate that prevails there is not dissimilar to here. And so three blends featuring varying proportions of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah.
First there is the mid-tier Renegade 2011 selling for R100 a bottle, then the Mouvèdre-led Three Halves 2011 (R195 a bottle) and lastly the flagship The Gypsy 2011 (R375 a bottle) which includes Grenache from 4.2ha block situated in Piekenierskloof and planted in 1959.
Renegade is pleasant enough but it’s Three Halves and The Gypsy that are particularly worth seeking out, the 2009 vintage of both these wines having rated 5 Stars in Platter’s. Tasting notes and scores for the current releases as follows:
Ken Forrester Three Halves 2011
48% Mourvèdre, 26% Grenache and 26% Syrah. Red and black fruit plus a certain wildness (notes of earth and scrub). Rich and concentrated with fresh acidity and fine tannins, the finish gently savoury. Well balanced but not quite as expressive as the 2009. No 2010.
Ken Forrester The Gypsy 2011
49% Syrah, 45% Grenache and 6% Mourvèdre. Red fruit, some floral fragrance and spice. Juicy and pure on the palate – really lithe. Forrester describes 2011 as “pretty tough” but he’s devised a really compelling wine in the case of the Gypsy.