Man O’ War Exiled, Valhalla, Warspite and Dreadnought Releases

The remoteness of Man O’ War has not deterred its progress to becoming a world-recognised wine brand. Situated at the eastern end of Waiheke Island, it stands somewhat apart from the other producers on the island who are generally on the western side. The reticence of the Spencer family who own Man O’ War, and indeed much of the land on Waiheke Island contributes to the distance. However, visiting the operation, one is impressed with its size, with a considerable 60 ha of vines spread over around 90 hillside sites, plus plantings on Ponui Island . The very experienced viticulturist Matt Allen provides around 400 tonnes of fruit for the highly regarded winemaker Duncan McTavish to turn into rather smart and serious wine. The style produced is certainly bold and near extravagant, and has found favour domestically and internationally. The result is that Man O’ War is increasingly popular as a destination, despite its access. Here, I review four of the new flagship black-labelled releases.


  • Man O’ War ‘Exiled’ Ponui Island Pinot Gris 2013
  • Man O’ War ‘Valhalla’ Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2012
  • Man O’ War ‘Warspite’ Ponui Island Cabernet Franc/Merlot/Malbec 2012
  • Man O’ War ‘Dreadnought’ Waiheke Island Syrah 2011

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