Only 4 Golds were awarded in this category, crowning Dreadnought as both Best New Zealand and Best Waiheke Syrah. The judges’ notes, “Opaque, vinous and meaty on the nose, ripe fruit with violet, floral intensity on the palate. Delightful purity of fruit with juicy flavours, the tannins are fine and quite fresh on the finish” clearly differentiated Dreadnought from the competition, to achieve the sought after Trophy.
Chris Ashton, IWC Event Director says: “A Trophy award is a true sign of exceptional excellence. With Gold medals already under their belts, these wines really represent the best of a country or a particular wine region, or of a specific grape variety.” The formidable judging panel is made up of the IWC Co-Chairmen - Tim Atkin MW, Sam Harrop MW, Charles Metcalfe and Derek Smedley MW and global wine expert and TV personality Oz Clarke.
Man O’ War winemaker, Duncan McTavish, commented “We are really proud and humbled that our Dreadnought Syrah has received such a prestigious award, we’re thrilled that our wines are gaining recognition from some of the world’s finest wine commentators”.
Dreadnought Syrah takes its name from the class of battleships known for their combination of size, speed and immense power; the motto on board was “Fear God and Dreadnought”. The wine was born from an initial tiny planting of experimental vines. From these vines the Man O’ War team saw great potential in the Northern Rhone variety and pushed forward in the pursuit to create wines that may someday challenge the most respected wines of the world. The new pockets of vineyards that now overlook the magnificent Hauraki Gulf and were inspired from such humble beginnings are now home to arguably the steepest and most picturesque vineyards imaginable and provide the raw materials from which this fine wine is created.
The International Wine Challenge, now in its 28th year, is probably the world’s largest wine tasting. Man O’ War’s Vineyard Manager, Matt Allen said, “The vision when we established Man O’ War Vineyards was founded on the firm belief that world class wines could be produced here. Over time, we have worked together with this unique terroir building knowledge and an understanding of the commitment required in hand tending our vines and ultimately craft wines of unique and distinctive personality. The numerous small and challenging hillside vineyards pose great difficulty but the resulting wines and such recognition from the most well respected palates provides great energy as we look to build further on the recent success.”
Other significant international awards this year include: Man O’ War Valhalla 2009 GOLD at the International Wine Challenge 2011 with Man O’ War Ironclad 2009 scooping in SILVER. Man O’ War Gravestone SILVER at the Decanter Wine Awards 2011 and Man O’ War Dreadnought 2008 won GOLD at the Imbibe Sommelier Awards 2011.