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2011 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 its drinking zone now, but will cellar for a few years too.

Winemaker's Notes

Blend: 44% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc, 11% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot

Ironclad: 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.

Cellar notes: 2011 was a relatively cool and late vintage for the reds delivering wines of elegance and finesse. All the fruit for the Ironclad comes from estate owned vineyards off steep north facing vineyards. The fruit is carefully hand harvested and delivered to the winery in impeccable condition before a further rigorous sorting in the winery.
The decision was made to ferment without crushing which is quite often the case in the cooler vintages at Man O’ War. The fruit was treated gently with a pre and post ferment soak with gentle pump overs with hand plunging twice daily during the actual fermentation stage.
All the parcels of fruit were fermented and barrelled separately before blending in the New Year. The 2011 Ironclad has 29 components contributing to the blend which was finalised in August of 2012 and bottled in late February 2013.

Tasting notes: Predominantly Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the nose has aromas of sweet ripe fruit with lifted aromas of crushed red berries and darker cassis with hints of floral perfume from the Malbec and Petit Verdot with a flourish of tobacco and cedar from the Cabernet Sauvignon. The palate is vibrant, exuding ripe fruit and a rich texture finishing with supple fine grained tannins. The 2011 Ironclad shows great fruit accessibility with a powerful structure coated in luxuriant fruit,supple yet powerful. It is an engaging wine in its youth that will reward patient cellaring revealing a refined structure and greater complexity with age.

Alc/vol: 14.5%

expert reviews about

2011 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.
95

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