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.
Man O’War Tulia Methode Traditionelle Blanc de Blanc 2012 – $$$
100% Chardonnay from the ‘Pururi’ vineyard on Waiheke Island. Bought at Akl Duty free, consumed in Fiji…
11.9% alc., 6 g/L dosage. Yellow gold, with moderate bubbles.
Lifted bouquet of peach, apple, nuts and (strong) yeasty brioche lead into a palate of firm stone fruit flavours and citrus. Lees and oak backbone. Grapefruit finish. A lively, racy sparkler. 89 points
Soho Revolver Waiheke Island Merlot Blend 2011
L is a chiropractor, and a very good one too. A fortnight ago I was invited to be her “plus one” at the formal dinner during the NZ Chiropractors’ Association conference up in The Tron.
L is also very generous and she bought up a pile of raffle tickets before the dinner. Her good luck won us this bottle, and a couple of Hawkes Bay stickies too.
The wine is a Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc blend. Deep cranberry colour. 12.6%. Very floral nose. Quite peculiar notes, and unfamiliar: cherries and plums yes, but also herbs like thyme and rosemary, and red roses too. In the mouth the wine is ripe with red fruits, including cranberries, with a strong oak backbone and vanilla. A very good win and wine. 4
From the Cellar: Passage Rock Waiheke Syrah 2009 – $$
Gold medal winner. 12.5%. Deep carmine colour. Rich floral nose, showing some age. Concentrated ripe fruit, luscious, balanced tannins, with the typical white pepper of this varietal.
Lovely wine. Great value. 4
Happy birthday Mum!