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96pt Man O'War Dreadnought Syrah 2013

£34.50 £29.99
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"The finest vintage to date!"

The Dreadnought Syrah from groundbreaking winery Man O'War is amongst the greatest Syrahs being made in the New World and this 2013 is the best yet.

With grapes selected from Man O'War's best and steepest vineyards, the Dreadnought fuses ripe, concentrated Kiwi fruit with the elegance and balance that is normally found in the top wines of the Northern Rhône. The result is the best of both worlds - juicy, spicy, concentrated and energetic.

This is a special wine, one rated by Decanter as one of the Top 10 Syrahs of New Zealand, with no less than 96 points. With 4.3 stars from Vivino, it seems that wine-drinkers agree!

About the wine

The Dreadnought Syrah is named after the first in a line of 20th century battleships which was bestowed with the motto 'fear god and dread nought' and embodied a supreme combination of speed and power.

The 2013 Dreadnought is incredibly fragrant with aromas of sweet red fruit, spice and savoury gamey notes which are typical of the style. The palate is undoubtedly concentrated yet retains an element of elegance with supple fruit and vibrant acidity. The fruit and stem tannins are fine grained and ripe adding freshness and length to the wine, with the overall structure suggestive of classical Northern Rhône Syrah. Stylish and finely balanced this wine is beautiful now but will reward careful cellaring. The wine should develop gracefully as the fine boned structure becomes more apparent and great complexity ensues

Rated as Waiheke’s finest vintage to date, 2013 delivered fruit of exceptional quality and the fruit for the Dreadnought Syrah was no exception. Due to the exceptional quality Man O'War allowed themselves to experiment with leaving stems in some of the ferments for added complexity and tannin.

The majority of fruit was sorted, destemmed and then treated in their typical manner; no crushing, no yeast or additions and an extended time in vat. However, for a few select ferments they added up to 15% whole clusters to the bottom of each vat before destemming on top. When pressed, the wines stayed in barrel for 24 months with a natural malolactic fermentation occuring in the spring before bottling under screw cap prior to Christmas 2015.

Winemaker: Duncan McTavish
Appellation: Waiheke Island, New Zealand

- 96pts, 'Top 10 NZ Syrah', Decanter Magazine
- 18/20pts, Jancis Robinson
- 5 Stars, Michael Cooper
- Gold Medal, International Wine Challenge
- 4.3/5 Stars, Vivino Rating

Grapes: 100% Syrah
Vineyard: Waiheke Island
Cooperage:  35% New French Oak puncheons, 75% seasoned French oak
ABV: 14.5%
Drink: 2017-2026

About the winery

Taking their name from the bay where James Cook came to anchor during his first voyage around the islands of New Zealand in 1769, the Man O’War vineyards are located at the eastern end of Waiheke Island where a stunning array of costal hillsides with high cliffs and pristine beaches form a ruggedly beautiful coastline.

Motivated to protect the island’s natural beauty and history, the Spencer family (one of New Zealand’s wealthiest) purchased the four contiguous farms that now make up the 4.500 acres of Man O’War in the early 1980s.

Those that visit say it’s an incredibly beautiful place with the level of investment - both financial and of personal passion - being clearly visible.

Matt Allen is the vineyard manager and Duncan McTavish the winemaker

About the vineyard

The Man O’War vineyards consist of an astonishing 150 acres planted in 76 individual hillside blocks, each with a distinct soil profile and microclimate. Each block has been meticulously designed with different rootstocks, clones and planting densities to best match the specific terroir on offer.

The red varieties are draped down precipitously steep sheltered clay hillsides, enjoying the heat and drainage provided that promote wines of serious intensity and depth.

About the winemaker

Duncan’s heart and soul, and enormous talent, are all reflected in each of the extraordinary wines he crafts at Man O’ War. Of singular personality they are indeed the “definitive translation of our land”. The inaugural graduate of the Viticulture and Oneology degree program at Lincoln University in 1998, Duncan spent the following 3 years working harvest for some of the best producers in Burgundy, Germany, California, Australia and New Zealand.

This apprenticeship culminated in 2001 when he landed a job with one of New Zealand’s greatest wine producers, the Waipara Valley’s inimitable Pegasus Bay. After nearly 4 years under the wing of Pegasus, Duncan left to develop his own winemaking ideas at Waipara Springs until 2008, when Man o'War were fortunate enough to entice him north He now makes his home on Waiheke living above Onetangi Beach with his partner Vanessa, son Tommy and baby daughter.


96 Points 'Top 10 NZ Syrah' - Decanter Magazine
"Dark fruit, charred tones, some leathery tannins and bacon notes. The palate has lots of black fruit with a touch of mint; complex and classy with a black pepper finish."

18/20 points, Richard Hemming
"Awesome ripe cherry liqueur then an enticing pepper and blackberry note. Wonderful spiciness. Fully loaded and absolutely tremendous typicality"


5 Stars, Michael Cooper
"Estate-grown at the eastern end of the island, the classy 2013 vintage...is sturdy (14.5 per cent alcohol), with an inviting, peppery fragrance. Already delicious, but also well worth cellaring, it is finely textured, with gentle tannins and highly concentrated, ripe blackcurrant, plum, spice and nut flavours"

"So meaty you could barbecue this wine. Quite powerful yet restrained. Savoury, dense and complex with a sturdy structure that will reward bottle age."

"Top notch Syrah from Waiheke Island!!! Evolved very perfumed dark blackberry and cherry fruit on the nose with soft black pepper, a dark inky floral note, tobacco and liquorice. Mid to full body, crisp acidity, spicy lightly mature tannins, juicy violets, blackberry and cherry. Long lingering beautiful dark fruit finish."  4.5/5 Stars

"Wow, this is my type of wine. Big, bold, powerful & flavoursome. Deep current red with a mulberry tinge...Dark fruits, grapefruit, orange peel, dark chocolate, raisins, charred coal, cedar wood, & a hint of spice. A full-bodied and powerful wine that went deliciously with duck breast with a cranberry sauce. Well worth the money. A must try! Cheers"  4.5/5 Stars

"Volcanic minerality, leather, mud, nutmeg, violets, roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, after eight balsamics. Intriguing and complex. Great palate with freshness, a bit warm and still showing some youthful tannins. Superb Syrah from Waiheke Island!5/5 Stars


Other Details

LAST FEW BOTTLES - One of NZ's Best Reds! Stunning Syrah from Man O'War
LAST FEW BOTTLES - 96pt "awesome" Kiwi Red from Man O'War
"The palate has lots of black fruit with a touch of mint; complex and classy with a black pepper finish." Decanter
"Wonderful spiciness. Fully loaded and absolutely tremendous typicality" jancisrobinson.com
The Dreadnought Syrah from groundbreaking winery Man O'War is amongst the greatest Syrahs being made in the New World and this 2013 is the best yet. With grapes selected from Man O'War's best and steepest vineyards, the Dreadnought fuses ripe, concen
2017-12-22 23:59:59
#review=Decanter 'Top 10 NZ Syrahs":
#stars_review=Michael Cooper:
#review=International Wine Challenge 2017:
Gold Medal
#stars_review=Vivino Rating:
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