Straight to the Pool Room – May 2017

Pool Room May 2017

Three additions for slumberland under the watchful gaze of KellerMäusefänger Mimi.

Wynns Michael Ltd Release Shiraz Coonawarra 2012- $$$ – drink 2020-2027. A gift from lovely L. High hopes for this classy Aussie.

Man O’War Ironclad Cabernet Waiheke 2012 – $$$ – drink 2020-2022. Odd to think that despite me having enjoyed wines from this producer for a few years now, there isn’t any in the Pool Room. There is now – this great cab!

Man O’War Valhalla Chardonnay Waiheke 2016 – $$$ – drink 2021-2024. And this one too.

What’s in the glass tonight November 12th – Man O’War


This was an interesting instore tasting. The pre-prepared notes offered up that Man O’ War is one of Waiheke Island’s “most exciting wineries, offering powerhouse reds and sophisticated, layered whites that offer fruit driven, terroir specific complexity”. They own 50% of the vineyards on the island, some 45 plots.

The producer makes a large number of wines in often small quantities, and they sell out quick. It helps that the large Auckland market is on the other side of the harbour.

I didn’t have too much time to make notes, and felt a bit self-conscious appearing too nerdy. I just enjoyed trying the wines and chatting to the rep…

Man O’War Exiled Pinot Gris 2015 – $$$ – very sweet, lots of flavour. Characterful too. Nice.

Man O’War Little Beast Chardonnay 2016 – $$$ – Lean, with a citrus bite, too young? 400 cases made. Expensive for what it is.

Man O’War Dreadnought Syrah 2013 – $$$+ – I loved this at the Game of Rhones wine event earlier this year. Luscious, whole bunch texture. Perfect ripeness and weight. A top wine.

Man O’War Ironclad Cab Franc/Merl/Cab 2011 – $$$+ – There was some Petit Verdot and Malbec in this blend too. A rich nose, cigar box, some age complexity, lovely.


What’s in the glass tonight June 19th – Methode Traditionelle

Man O War Tulia 2012

Man O’War Tulia Methode Traditionelle Blanc de Blanc 2012 – $$$

100% Chardonnay from the ‘Pururi’ vineyard on Waiheke Island. Bought at Akl Duty free, consumed in Fiji…

11.9% alc., 6 g/L dosage. Yellow gold, with moderate bubbles.

Lifted bouquet of peach, apple, nuts and (strong) yeasty brioche lead into a palate of firm stone fruit flavours and citrus. Lees and oak backbone. Grapefruit finish. A lively, racy sparkler. 89 points


What’s in the glass tonight May 16th

Man O War Ironclad 2008

Man O’ War Ironclad Waiheke 2008

Waiheke Island is rich in history; Captain James Cook anchored there during his first voyage around New Zealand in 1769 and taking note of the magnificent stands of Kauri trees, wrote in the his journals that they would make ideal masts for the “Man O’ War” warships for the Royal Navy. On a trip to the island I once found a shard splintered from a stone Maori adze that must have been worked on the very beach I was standing on over a century earlier.

This is a Bordeaux varietal wine made from a family owned wine estate situated in the iron rich clay hills of Waiheke Island off the coast of Aukland in the Hauraki Gulf. Man O’ War is owned by one of NZ’s richest families, the Spencers. They made their money from making a variety of things, including loo roll.

The wine is produced from 45 different parcels of grapes. This vintage comprises 52% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc, 10.5% Melbec, 9.1% Petit Verdot, and 1.4% Cabernet Sauvignon. Not sure why they bothered with the last component, no more than a margin of error in quantity…

Anyway, this wine was bloody marvellous. 14.5%. Inky black magenta. Dense rich nose. Vanilla.

Deep and aromatic with an intense attack and soft smooth texture following on, and with nicely concentrated black fruit flavours and cedar and spice. Firm tannins and a fantastic finish. Age, grace and power.


Outstanding 5