Man O’War – sensational Syrah from New Zealand

I’m so glad Tim Atkin selected the Man O’War Dreadnought Syrah for a blind tasting at the Syrah symposium in Hawkes Bay last month. It’s a sensational wine, and this was actually my first exposure to Syrah from New Zealand’s Waiheke Island, just off the coast from Auckland. Since then, I retried this alongside the regular Man O’War Syrah, and they’re both fantastic expressions of cool climate Syrah, which is surely going to be New Zealand’s next big thing.

Man O’War Syrah 2008 Waiheke Island, New Zealand
14% alcohol. Very fresh, peppery and meaty with some clove notes. It’s elegant in a cool-climate style with lovely fresh black cherry and raspberry fruit, as well as some olive and herb notes. Opens up and softens after a few hours with some richness and sweetness appearing, and the edginess calming down a bit. A peppery, spicy wine with lots of fruit. 93/100

Man O’War Dreadnought Syrah 2008 Waiheke Island, New Zealand
14% alcohol. Wonderful nose of rich blackberry and raspberry fruit with lovely complex, fresh, peppery notes. The palate has dense, firm fruit with some edgy tannins and good acidity, as well savoury clove and pepper character. It’s a really lively wine with nice combination of intense fruit and savoury spiciness. It’s quite challenging at the moment, and it will be interesting to see how it evolves. 94/100

UK agents: Stokes Fine Wines

6 comments to Man O’War – sensational Syrah from New Zealand

  • I’ve yet to try and NZ syrah and these two sound incredible.

    Do they make it out of New Zealand? What kind of price points are they there?


  • keith prothero

    Bought half a case of each but have yet to try. Guess I will leave for a few years based on your notes.

  • Thanks for recommending Man of War. If they taste like you describe, I’m sure I will enjoy this Syrah. I will definitely be giving them a try.

  • Incredible examples of cool climate Syrah. I love the olive notes on the Man O’ War Syrah 2008 (white label).

  • Claudia Haase

    Went to Waiheke last week (NZ holidays) and visited Man O’War. I saw your tasting notes and bought a bottle of the Dreadnought Syrah 2008. Looking forward to drinking it! Hopefully meet again at some point soon.

  • Great stuff Claudia! Hope you enjoyed the visit, and hope we get to meet again at some point.

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