The Man O’ War story begins with a special piece of land which has a rich history. Located at the Eastern End of Waiheke Island, Man O’ War is a stunning array of coastal hillsides with high cliffs and pristine beaches forming a ruggedly beautiful coastline. It was along this coastline that Captain James Cook came to anchor during his first voyage around the islands of New Zealand in 1769. Upon sighting the ancient stands of magnificent Kauri trees ashore, Cook noted in his journals that they would make ideal masts for the warships of the Royal Navy. Thus the name Man O’ War was bestowed upon this unique land. With a desire to protect this treasured land’s natural beauty and sense of history for future generations, our family purchased the four contiguous farms that now form the 4,500 acres of Man O’ War in the early 1980’s. And so began our adventure of exploring this land, along the way naming our “discoveries” in honour of family history, naval legacy, and of this special place itself. Over two hundred years after Cook first sighted Man O’ War we were convinced that world class wine could be grown here. Throwing caution to the wind we began planting our first vines in 1993. Today Man O’ War consists of 150 acres of vines planted in 76 individual hillside blocks, each with a distinct soil profile and microclimate. Every single block bears the footprints, and sometimes the names, of those who transformed Man O’ War’s rugged hillsides into a spectacular patchwork of vines. Each block has been meticulously designed with different rootstocks, clones and planting densities to best match the specific terroir on offer.
Bright, light golden-hued straw-yellow colour with some depth. The bouquet is softly packed and concentrated with aromas of ripe yellow stonefruits infused with complex layers of flinty lees work, harmoniously melded with nutty barrel-ferment and toasty oak elements. Full-bodied and fully concentrated, the palate features waves of harmoniously layered flavours of ripe, savoury citrus fruits, flinty lees and toasty oak. Soft background acidity contributes to the rounded mouthfeel. A firm core underlines the flavours, and fine, dry textures emerge to balance the fruit, leading to a very long, lingering finish with nutty, toasty flavours. This is a harmonious and complex layered Chardonnay with citrus fruits, flint, toast and nutty flavours.