The Wines

All Frenchmans Hill Estate wines are made by winemaker Luc Desbonnets at the purpose built, state of the art, Te Rere Cove winery here on Waiheke Island. Visits to the winery are available strictly by appointment only. All wines are minimally handled and reds are unfined with only one coarse filtration on their way to bottle. The wines are all cellared at the winery at 13 C until they are released for sale.

The Chardonnay and Pinot Gris grapes are grown within specific parcels of the Te Rere Cove vineyard which surrounds the winery estate and was also established by Luc in 2006.

No wine was made from the 2011 vintage as persistent cyclonic rains at harvest meant we could not produce the wine that fitted with the integrity of our brand. We take a strictly uncompromising approach to wine growing.

FRENCHMANS HILL ESTATE EASTERN GUMS ROSÉ 2016 $36.00 (cellar door only)

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This is a 100% Syrah Rosé made from grapes grown on the Frenchmans Hill Estate 8 Vineyard rock strewn eastern parcel. These grapes are cropped slightly higher than the Syrah destined for our red wine in order to ensure correct acid / alcohol balance is achieved to express fresh fruitiness and charm. Ultra cool fermentation combines with lees aging for several months to create a dark pink, highly expressive, fresh and fleshy Rosé ideal for summertime sipping.

FRENCHMANS HILL ESTATE TED’S CHARDONNAY 2016 RRP $58.00 

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Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes grown on “Ted’s Patch” - 1.25 acre south west slope at Te Rere Cove vineyard. Contractor Ted Whatarangi carefully shifted 18000 cubic metres of earth onto this once hollow hillside to form the perfect slope upon which to plant our Chardonnay. The result is a 100% 12 month barrel fermented wine made using classic Burgundian technique. Fleshy, complex and full bodied this is great food Chardonnay that is all class.

Frenchmans Hill Estate Pooks Pinot Gris 2014 $45.00 (cellar door only)

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Named after the native red beaked dark blue coloured Pukeko birds that fiercely guard this parcel of sumptuous Pinot Gris. The 13 is a nice restrained example of poise and texture of this noble grape. A delight with summer foods and white sauced dishes. Also exceptional with cheeses. Drink: 2015 – 2020.

FRENCHMANS HILL ESTATE CRYING ROCKS SYRAH 2012 $48.00 (cellar door only) Robert Parker Wine Advocate 90 Points

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100% Syrah grapes grown on The 8 Vineyards rock strewn eastern parcel. 22 months in a combination of french and american oak barriques. Medium bodied, fleshy with subtle power and marked spicy characters, this is a soft and approachable wine that will drink well over the next decade. The 2012 season was a complex one which shows in this beautiful wine.

FRENCHMANS HILL ESTATE Rock earth SYRAH 2013 $125.00

100% Waiheke coastal single parcel vineyards. Hand tended vines, tiny crop yields and a masterful combination of 6 'class A' syrah clones, combine to provide a rich, elegant and complex wine that proudly expresses this unique and spiritual piece of earth. 16 months in 75% new French barriques. Unfined and minimally filtered. Cellar at 13-15 C. Drink 2018-2028.

FRENCHMANS HILL ESTATE ROCK EARTH SYRAH 2014 $108.00

Probably a slightly more friendly and overt wine when you compare to the 2013. I think there is enough spicy complexity present to carry this wine for many years.

FRENCHMANS HILL ESTATE BLOOD CREEK 8 2012 RRP $195.00   Robert Parker Wine Advocate 92 Points

(cork under wax) (STRICTLY LIMITED AVAILABILITY)

The second vintage blend released from the Frenchmans Hill Estate 8 Vineyard. This year the proportions planted came into proper alignment. Cabernet Sauvignon 35%, Petit Verdot 23%, Merlot 21%, Cabernet Franc 7%, Syrah 6%, Tannat 5%, Viognier and Kolor 3%. A complex and technically challenging growing season finishing with six weeks of idyllic vintage weather. A harmonious and complex wine with great length and fine grainy tannins. Perhaps eclipsing the 2010 on quality as the proportions within the blend match with the vision for this wine. Drink 2015-2025.

FRENCHMANS HILL ESTATE BLOOD CREEK 8 2013 RRP $145.00  Five Stars Michael Cooper

(cork under wax) (LIMITED AVAILABILITY)

The third vintage blend released from the Frenchmans Hill Estate 8 Vineyard. Cabernet Sauvignon 35%, Petit Verdot 22%, Merlot 21%, Cabernet Franc 7%, Syrah 6%, Tannat 6%, Viognier and Kolor 3%. A long hot dry vintage resulting in a highly concentrated and elegant expression suited to extensive cellar ageing under correct conditions. A harmonious and complex wine with great length and fine grainy tannins. Drink 2015-2025. 

FRENCHMANS HILL ESTATE BLOOD CREEK 8 2014 RRP $135.00

A marvellous expression of an eloquent and refined vintage. A tribute Luc's uncle Alfred 'Freddy" Desbonnets who passed during vinification. Oui larmes dedans. For this blend of the 8 chosen cepages this will be as usual a wine to keep and cherish over many years and perhaps decades.

FRENCHMANS HILL ESTATE WINEMAKERS RESERVE SYRAH 2010 MAGNUM RRP $195.00 Robert Parker Wine Advocate 91 Points

(cork under wax) MAGNUM only. (LIMITED AVAILABILITY)

This is Luc’s special selection from 3 of the very finest ‘haut futaie’ oak barriques of syrah from this outstanding vintage. These barrels were made from

a specific harvest from two clones on the upper boney ridge areas of the 8 vineyard resulting in a compact and powerful wine that will cellar gloriously

for a decade or two. Decanting to breath for a good couple of hours is recommended if you wish to drink young. Stock very limited.

IF YOU WISH TO ACQUIRE WINES

we recommend that you join the FHAWL ( Frenchmans Hill Artisan Wines List) where you will receive first option on all pre – release wines at preferential pricing. Go to “Join Mail List” page.”

We do apologise if we are unable to supply your order due to the limited nature of our single vineyard production. Door to door international shipping is available.