2012 Ironclad Merlot Franc Blend

2012 was a very 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 ‘wild’ without crushing which is quite often the case in the cooler vintages at Man O’ War. The fruit was treated gently with a preand 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 barreled separately before blending in the New Year. The 2012 Ironclad has 29 components contributing to the blend which was finalised in August of 2013 and bottled in late February 2014.

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 2012 Ironclad is a fine
example of what Waiheke can achieve in a cooler vintage. It has 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. This is our greatest Ironclad yet.