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2010 Man O' War Ironclad Merlot Cabernet Franc

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Cracka Review

Named in honour of the 19th Century warships that had iron armour fixed to their wooden hulls, this is one of the flagship (pun totally intended) wines of Man O' War hailing from Waiheke Island in EnZed. It's a fulsome number, with rich, dense smells of dark brambly berries, fleshy plums, crushed leaves and leather couches on the nose, along with a hint of earthy spices. The palate is fuller-bodied and quite sumptuous, with those dark fruit flavours punching through, a lick of toasted coconut from the oak, some tight and slightly grippy tannins, and a lush, slightly savoury finish that lingers. It's approaching it's drinking zone now, but will cellar for a few years.

Winemaker's Notes

On the nose the cassis from the Cabernet Sauvignon is quite overt but there is huge complexity underneath of both blue and black fruits, crushed stone, chalk and wild thyme. The palate is very concentrated with a supple texture in the mid palate progressing to a streak of minerality towards the finish contributing freshness to the wine and complementing a huge quantity of fine grained tannins Ironclad 2010 will reward decanting in its youth and will also reward long patient cellaring with a wine of immense complexity, power and longevity.

Ironclad is named in honour of the 19th Century warships characterised by the iron armour bolted onto their wooden hulls, much as iron courses through the veins of our warm clay hillside vineyards.

This wine is bottled and protected under screw cap as we believe it is the best closure for quality wine.

Man O’ War has 45 different vineyard sites dedicated to Bordeaux varietals. Each vineyard is meticulously sorted in the vineyard by hand harvesting and double sorted in the winery by both bunch and berry.

Each vineyard is kept separate from vineyard to barrel with the blend carefully selected from the 45 different parcels in the following year. The ferments are carefully managed with twice daily plunging by hand and fermentation carried out by native yeast.

After an average of 30 days in vat the wines are gently pressed direct to barrel and remain on their yeast lees until blending. Malolactic fermentation occurs spontaneously in the spring.

After blending the wines stay in tank for 4 months before a light filtration to bottle.

Varietal: Cabernet franc 39% Merlot 30% Cabernet sauvignon 18% Malbec 7% Petit Verdot 6%

Alcohol: 14.5%

expert reviews about

2010 Man O' War Ironclad Merlot Cabernet Franc

Expert Reviews

Bob Campbell MW (2011 Vintage) says
Dense, generously proportioned red with intense dried fruit/fruit cake flavours with some chocolate and spicy oak. Powerful and complex Bordeaux blend with impressive complexity. Surprisingly accessible now but will age superbly.
Nick Stock (2008 Vintage) says
A deeper serve of oak here, a little resinous and lifted, there's some minted chocolate and earth, and dark purple-berry fruits. The palate has a neat and succinct shape, with tarry, minted berry fruits; it builds weight and chew smoothly through the finish. Quite a statement - ironclad for sure!
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