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Featured Reviews

Te Whau Waiheke Island 2016 ‘Petit Point’, and 2015 and 2014 ‘The Point’

31 May,2018

Psychologist Tony Forsyth and his wife Moira established Te Whau Vineyard when they purchased land in 1993 and planted wines on Te Whau Point on Waiheke Island in 1996. The Forsyth family quickly established themselves as among the best winegrowers on the island with a range of wonderful wines featuring ‘The Point’ Bordeaux-variety blend as their flagship. The Forsyth’s love of this style of wine was also reflected in the outstanding wine list of their outstanding restaurant on site. Herb Friedli was the winemaker, handing over to Curtis Staples. It was to many fans’ dismay that it was announced late last year that the Forsyths had sold and would cease any further operation.

The on-line wine merchant United Cellars picked up stocks of the Te Whau wine which they have sold to an eager market. Here, I review a second label, ‘Le Petit Pont’ from the 2016 vintage, plus the 2015 and 2015 ‘The Point’ wines, which are available through United Cellars.


Te Whau ‘Le Petit Point’ Waiheke Island Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Malbec 2016

Blended Red from New Zealand – Northland & Auckland


Dark, deep, garnet-hued red colour, lighter on the rim with a little brick. The nose is very fresh with intense and penetrating aromas of blackcurrants with fresh and dark herbs, some cool-climate stalk and leaf elements. The aromatics show depth and unfold blackberry elements. Medium-bodied, the palate has tightly concentrated flavours of blackcurrants and fresh herbs along with stalk and leafy notes. The fruit is in the cool-spectrum and edgy, showing some unripe elements. However, the palate has good presence with depth and a solid core, with light, grainy tannin extraction. The mouthfeel is zesty and crisp with brisk acidity which carries the flavours of currants, herbs, stalk and leaf to a lingering finish. This is an intense and penetrating Cabernet/Merlot blend with cool-spectrum currant, herb, leaf and stalk notes on a palate with elevated acidity. Serve with Mediterranean fare over the next 3-4 years. A blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec, fermented to 12.1% alc. 16.5/20 May 2018 RRP TBA

Te Whau ‘The Point’ Waiheke Island Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Malbec/Petit Verdot 2015

Blended Red from New Zealand – Northland & Auckland


Very dark, deep, near impenetrable black-hued red colour with a little garnet on the rim. The nose is softly full with ethereal layers of ripe fruit aromas of black and red currants entwined with dark plums, dark herbs, a little earthy complexity and fine, cedary, pencilly oak. This is beautifully harmonious and interwoven, and shows wonderful balance. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and gently full and well packed with layers of flavour showing blackcurrants, herbs, earth, some blackberry and black plum nuances, along with cedary and pencilly oak. The fruit richness is balanced by considerable fine-grained tannin extraction and structure, forming a concentrated heart with drive and linearity. Fine, lacy acidity contributes to the tension and the flavours carry to a very long, sustained finish. This is a beautifully balanced, harmonious and proportioned Cabernet/Merlot blend with rich fruit and great structure in the classical Bordeaux style. Match with lamb, beef and venison dishes over the next 10-15 years. The last vintage of ‘The Point’. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 19 months in new and seasoned French oak. 19.0+/20 May 2018 RRP $85.00

Te Whau ‘The Point’ Waiheke Island Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Malbec/Petit Verdot 2014

Blended Red from New Zealand – Northland & Auckland


Full, even near impenetrable black-red colour, a little lighter on the edge with some garnet hues. The bouquet has powerful and concentrated aromas of fresh blackcurrants and cassis with fresh and dark herbs, along with distinctive mint elements, unfolding nuances of black plums and subtle, cedary oak. This is quite primary and refreshing and shows strong Cabernet Sauvignon fruit with a cool edge. Medium-full bodied, the palate has powerful and intense flavours of blackcurrants, cassis liqueur and up-front fresh mint herbs with a touch of menthol. The fruit intensity is striking and forms a concentrated core. The fruit is underlined by plenty of fine-grained structure and grip, and the mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh acidity. This has excellent linearity, and the wine carries to a very long, lingering finish. This is a powerful and intensely concentrated Cabernet/Merlot blend with bold blackcurrant, cassis and herbal flavours with plenty of fine structure and fresh acidity. Serve with herb-marinated lamb, beef and venison dishes over the next 10 years. A blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 19 months in new and seasoned French oak. 18.5+/20 May 2018 RRP $85.00

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