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Man O' War Valhalla Chardonnay 2014

The Experience

Drink When...
You want to be empowered
Listen To...
War by Norman Whitfield and Barret Strong
Think About...
Taking up self defense classes
Drink With...
Rabbit stew

The Oddbins Take

It is said that, when Captain James Cook was sailing around the islands New Zealand, he spotted the Kauri trees of Waiheke Island and decided they would make ideal masts for the warships of the Royal Navy. It is this story that inspired the winery’s name and this Chardonnay certainly follows suit.

With its wild, explosive smoky notes and curious volcanic minerality, it is one of the most curious, impactful, incredible Chardonnays we’ve tried. People sometime ask, ‘war, what is it good for?’ and we would say it’s good for Chardonnay.

The Vital Statistics

New Zealand
Best Drunk Now & Over the Next 4 Years
Bottle Size
Regular - 750ml
Residual Sugar
3.2 g/l

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The Style

Chardonnay (100%)
Light Full bodied
Dry Sweet

Notable Features

  • Suitable For Vegetarians
  • Suitable For Vegans

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  • Man O' War Valhalla Chardonnay 2011 New Zealand
Man O' War Valhalla Chardonnay 2011 New Zealand

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Man O' War began planting vines on Waiheke Island in 1993. There are now 150 acres of vines planted by Man O' War vineyards which are split into 76 individual hillside blocks. The name Man O' War originates from the discovery of Waiheke Island. In 1769 Captain James Cook was on a voyage around the Islands of New Zealand; when Captain Cook caught sight of the Kauri trees growing on Waiheke Island he wrote in his journal that they would make ideal masts for the warships of the Royal Navy. Man O' War is a collection of cliffs, hillsides and beaches on the Eastern coastline of Waiheke Island.With lots of wine-making experience under his belt from working in the vineyards of Burgundy, California, Germany and more recently Waipara Valley, Duncan McTavish has created wines that are reflections of his personality and the land.

Valhalla Chardonnay is made from grapes that have been hand harvested from vines which grow half way up the slopes of Man O' War vineyards; the soils in this area of the vineyard are predominantly clay with some volcanic deposits. Once the grapes are harvested, they are whole bunch pressed and the juice undergoes wild fermentation in large oak puncheons and smaller barriques. The wine is left to develop on its lees during the winter but it does not undergo malolactic fermentation.

Valhalla Chardonnay has complex layers of white stone fruits and passion fruit with high acidity, which balances with the toastiness developed from the fermentation in oak. The wine has distinct minerality and a supple mouth-filling texture. It would be able to stand up to rich creamy sauces or roast chicken but would not over power meaty fish like salmon.

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