JIM BARRY WINES, South Australia
‘The Armagh’ 2006 Shiraz (97pts)
I enjoyed tasting three wines from Jim Barry at an industry tasting promotion showcasing Australia’s First Families of Wine. There is more information on Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW) available at the end of this review.
I feel fortunate to have met Peter Barry at the AFFW event. Peter’s passion, knowledge and charisma all shine brightly. He is as engaging as the wines I tasted were. Needless to say I enjoyed speaking with Peter during the speed tasting round and visiting with him to taste a museum wine he brought with him as well. I wish I could have spent much more time with him, learning about the history of his family and the stories behind the scenes.
From the Winery:
Jim Barry Wines is a family winery based in the Clare Valley of South Australia. The company was founded in 1959 by Jim and Nancy Barry. The company is now owned and managed by Peter Barry, a second generation family winemaker. Jim Barry Wines is home to some of Australia’s favourite wines such as The Armagh, The McRae Wood, The Benbournie, First Eleven, Pb, The Cover Drive, The Lodge Hill Shiraz, The Barry Brothers, The Florita, The Lodge Hill Riesling and Watervale Riesling.
Jim Barry Wines’ philosophy to winemaking is very simple: own the vineyards to develop the best fruit flavours possible and retain these flavours during winemaking. We firmly believe that great wine is made in the vineyard. Over our 55 years, we have worked to establish a mosaic of vineyards across the Clare Valley, each unique in site, soil and aspect. In addition to this, we have two vineyards in the Coonawarra region, where we grow Cabernet Sauvignon on the famous Terra Rossa soils.
The Armagh Shiraz has achieved extraordinary success and is regarded as one of Australia’s highest quality wines.
The vineyard was named after the adjoining hamlet of Armagh, established by Irish settlers in 1849 and named after the lush rolling hills of their homeland. Jim Barry planted the 3.3 hectare vineyard in 1968 with Shiraz grapes.
The vineyard is planted on its own roots on grey sandy abrasive topsoil over clay subsoil and receives an average rainfall of 600 millimetres per year. Such is The Armagh vineyards suitability that minimal intervention is needed to maintain yields below 4 tonnes per hectare, which produce rich and concentrated fruit of the rare quality required to produce wines with ageing potential
My Tasting Notes:
The Armagh Shiraz represents some of the best Shiraz from Clare Valley and Australia. It was one of the top three Shiraz and top five wines tasted at the AFFW event. This vintage has scored very well and for good reasons. Nine-years after bottling, the wine still shows great depth, dark rich colour and balanced. There is also a feeling of refinement, oak and tannin structure. It is still full of fresh and vibrant blackberry, licorice and plum flavours. This vintage is perfect now and for the next 10 years or more.
Varietal Composition: 100% Shiraz
Appellations: The Armagh Vineyard, Clare Valley
Total Acid: 6.8 g/L
Sweetness Level: Dry
This is an outstanding example of Shiraz, 97 Points
Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW):
AFFW together represent seventeen wine-growing regions across Australia and forty-eight generations of winemakers. The inaugural twelve-member alliance includes Brown Brothers, Campbells, Taylors, DeBortoli, McWilliam’s, Tahbilk, Tyrell’s, Yalumba, D’Arenberg, Jim Barry, Howard Park, and Henschke. Howard Park Wines is the only representative from Western Australia to be included in AFFW.
The aim of Australia’s First Families of Wine is to showcase a representative and diverse range of the best of Australian wine with a focus on regional and iconic drops. The collective is working to engage and educate consumers, retailers, restaurants and the wine industry across the globe about the real character and personality of Australian wine, and about the unique characters and personalities behind it.
The 2006 Jim Barry Armagh Shiraz was tasted on May 28, 2015 in Vancouver, BC.
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