2016 Jim Barry 'The Armagh' Shiraz Clare Valley
Winemaker Notes: 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.From the first vintage in 1985, The Armagh has achieved remarkable success, attaining the maximum possible rating of 'Exceptional' in Langton's Classification of Australian Wine.
James Suckling - "Wow. This is a bold, brassy shiraz that carries a wealth of very intense aromas of ripe blackberries, dark plums, licorice and sweetly spiced earth. Still so very youthful and primary. The palate is so powerful, so mouth-filling and so, so juicy. This manages to deliver such intensity and composure. Supple, long and deep-set tannins and heroically expressive fruit. Really impressive now, but this will deliver much more over the next two decades. One of the finest releases to date "
Decanter - "This is a brilliant wine that makes you sit up and pay attention. Concentrated and mouthwatering with spicy liquorice root and black cherries. Needs a couple more years to fully open but already it packs a punch without being overpowering, and it achieves the feat of great wines where you simply know how good they are by how your palate responds to the effortless balance of tannin, juice and brambled fruit. Long ageing potential also. 3.5pH, 70% French oak, 30% American oak. From sandy gravel soils with full sun exposure meaning natural low yields of around 30hl/ha. "
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - "The 2016 The Armagh Shiraz, tasted in a lineup of four vintages (2016 - 2019), has the highest alcohol of the lot (14.2% alcohol) and remains perfectly in balance. These are not the big wines that we may expect them to be. The vintage variation across them is subtle but evident, revealing the beauty of this single vineyard, planted in 1968. This 2016 wine is now starting to settle into its first drinking window and speaks of an array of deli meats, forest berries, exotic spice and even a hint of red curry paste. This has all the complexity you could want, and in terms of tannins: texture, density and rippling muscles. Sensational stuff. Drink it over the next two decades. "
Wine Spectator - "This has a stunning, intense mix of salted black licorice, black walnut liqueur, wild blackberry, bittersweet chocolate, cigar box and black cherry preserves that are plump and generous, but balanced with firm, dense tannins, fresh loamy earth and malty Assam black tea on the finish. Intense and harmonious, with a long, expressive finish, where a note of fresh mint lingers. "