Man O' War Valhalla Chardonnay 2018 ~ Waiheke Island, New Zealand
95/100 Bob Campbell
90/100 Cam Douglas
17.5/20 Jancis Robinson
Ranked #4 of New Zealand Chardonnays - Wine 360
5 Star Rated by Bob Campbell
Jancis Robinson "...this is proper premier cru stuff, with all the sophistication and minerality (whatever that might be!) of great Chardonnay."
Cam Douglas "There’s no mistaking the power and impact from this wine with aromas of cashew nut and whipped cream, roasted peaches and vanilla, smoky wood and brown baking spices. On the palate - full-bodied with a creamy texture, fruity reflecting the aromas from the bouquet. With the presented level of bottle-development, this wine is ready to enjoy from today and through 2021."
Bob Campbell "Rich, weighty, creamy-textured chardonnay with toast, sizzled butter, peach, melon, spice and citrus flavours (among others)."
The Winemaker "The palate is concentrated with waves of harmonious flavours of ripe citrus, flinty lees characters and nutty, toasty flavours. The acidity is well-matched with the weight and concentration of the wine, rich enough not to be distracted by any malo or heavy lees work."
Raymond Chan "The nose is softly full and voluminous with generous and up-front aromas of ripe yellow stonefruits along with nuances of citrus and tropical fruit melded with well-packed complexing aromas of gunflint reduction, creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak. This has depth and power. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and mouth-filling flavours of ripe yellow stonefruits with hints of citrus and tropical fruit, integrated with a fine, complex amalgam of nutty oak and flinty reduction. There is a suggestion of richness and creaminess from the barrel-ferment, which is balanced by bright, refreshing acidity. The wine carries with power and drives along a fine-textured line, leading to a long and sustained finish. This is a rich, mouth-filling and concentrated, complex Chardonnay with stonefruit, nutty oak and gunflint interest on a powerful palate. Match with poultry, pork and veal dishes over the next 5-6+ years. A selection of the finest barrels. Fruit from the volcanic hillsides WBP, and fruit from the sheltered hillsides foot-stomped, then fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented with full solids to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 36% new French oak puncheons.." (2017 vintage)
Robert Parker The Wine Advocate "Man O’ War is without a doubt one of New Zealand’s greatest wineries in the making and one to watch."
Jancis Robinson “Waiheke Island, home to one of the country’s best Syrah producers Man O’ War…New Zealand is second only to the Rhône in the consistency of quality it achieves.”
Raymond Chan "Man O’ War is arguably Waiheke Island’s most significant wine producer.."
Man O'War Vineyards is a leading New Zealand wine producer on Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf. It is known for its consistently high-quality range of wines made from grape varieties like Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Each small parcel of vines is carefully tended and harvested by hand, then vinified separately, fusing classic Old World techniques with innovative New World ideas.
Waiheke Island is a wine-producing region just 18km east of Auckland city. This hilly island is home to a healthy population of hippies and artists, as well as some of Auckland's most famous vineyards. Waiheke Island's specialty is elegant Bordeaux Blend wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but Syrah and Chardonnay are also important grape varieties planted here.
Chardonnay is one of the world’s most popular grapes, Chardonnay is made in a wide range of styles from lean, to rich, creamy white wines aged in oak. Bolder, richer, full-bodied and buttery Chardonnays are made using oak and are produced in California, Burgundy, and Australia. Unoaked chardonnays such as Chablis and those produced in Chile, New Zealand, and other parts of France are leaner and often crisp and mineraly, with delicate flavors. By law, if a label says “Chablis,” it must be Chardonnay.