Man O' War Valhalla Chardonnay 2019
Availability: 13 in stock
Concentrated, flinty with a nutty complexity. Harmonious palate with savoury & toasty flavours & a great acid line. Rich, weighty & robust.
‘The Man O’ War’ vines on Waiheke Island were planted in 1993, however this iconic New Zealand winery has a history that dates back to the country’s discovery. Located in the eastern part of Waiheke Island (a 40 minute ferry ride from Auckland) Man O’ War is a pristine, breathtaking spread of coastal hillsides with high cliffs and stunning beaches. This rugged coastline was ‘discovered’ by Captain James Cook in 1769. He arrived into the bay and upon sighting the native Kauri trees in the foothills, noted they would make ideal masts for the Man O’ War Warships of the Royal Navy – and from there the name was born.
With the unwavering belief that world class wines would be produced there, 150 vines have been planted over the last two decades across 76 individual pockets of hillside, each chosen specifically for the unique and exceptional qualities they bring to the grapes. This entire area covers about 4,500 acres.
Each site has been meticulously chosen to maximise the grape production and terroir so that each wine has its own specific style and personality. Their white wine varietals have been placed high up on the volcanic site to best maximise the cool seabreeze and climate which in turn extends their growing time and maximises the fruit flavour, intensity and minerality. The reds are strategically placed down clay hillsides which enjoys heat retention and drainage from rain easy. This creates intensity and depth in the flavours.
We couldn’t pick a favourite out of the ‘Man O’ War’ Range as they are all standouts. Their ‘Gravestone Sauvignon Semillon’, is one to marvel, ‘The Dreadnought Syrah’ and ‘Bellerophon Syrah Viognier’ have to be tried to be believed. However if you need to try anything before your last days on this sweet earth make sure it is the ‘Valhalla Chardonnay’ – toasty, character drive and mineral but with a well rounded body. A hallmark of quality is the ‘Ironclad Cabernet Franc’ – it is complex and driven by blue and black fruits and feels like a hug at the end of a long day.
For more information on Man O’ War and their wines, visit their website.
Back in the 1930s and ’40s, Croatian immigrants settled in West Auckland. Taking refuge from the depression that ravaged Europe. Many of these new arrivals brought the secrets of wine and vine with them, founding vineyards and orchards. With the ambition to rival the vintners of the Hawkes Bay region, Auckland’s vineyards flourished and a few of New Zealand’s largest wineries were born.
Auckland is comprised of 5 sub-regions; Waiheke Island, Kumeu, Clevedon, Henderson and Matakana laying claim to 2% of NZ’s wine production. While the sub-regions differ wildly and are very distinctive, they experience a similar climate with a maritime weather environment, benefiting from warm, primarily frost-free conditions. The region undergoes fairly high rainfall, occasionally drawing issues in the spring and summer months as vineyards are typically established on soils such as clay, mixed alluvial, volcanic or greywacke that retain water and drains slowly.
Out of the 80’s an array of small boutique vineyards under private ownership blossomed, raising the sale price of the region’s wine and firmly establishing Auckland on the wine map. While a variety of styles are grown here, it‘s the Chardonnay and Bordeaux style wines that flourish.