Made in the mould of great Australian wines like Grange and Henschke's Hill of Grace, Jim Barry's 2018 'The Armagh' Shiraz may not be quite so widely-known, but for Australian wine-cognoscenti, this is a vintage to seek out, with 100 points from Decanter Magazine and a battery of great scores from major critics.
The first Australian wine to be offered on the Place de Bordeaux, The Armagh nevertheless has a long history. The late Jim Barry was a pioneer of Clare Valley, arriving here in 1947 as the region's first qualified winemaker (having trained at Roseworthy). He purchased the Armagh vineyard in 1964 but the vineyard and its name date back to 1849, when Irish settlers arrived here and named the lush green Armagh Creek after their homeland.
Barry replanted part of the Armagh vineyard with Shiraz, on heirloom, pre-phylloxera rootstocks, seeing the potential of the thin, alluvial soils. By the 1980s, when most Australian vineyards were pulling out their Shiraz vines, he and his son Peter had the vision to set out to make Clare's first great wine from this variety. The first 'Armagh' vintage was released in 1985.
Over the years, the style has moved from classic, heavily-oaked Australian Shiraz to something much more precise and complex. Made by Peter and his son Tom, the 2018 equals and even surpasses the brilliant 2016 release. Grapes for the 2018 were hand-harvested, with several passes, to achieve optimum ripeness and flavour. Vinification was in two-tonne, open-top fermenters and the wine was matured in a combination of 75% new French and American oak hogsheads for 15 months, bottled after 3 years at an abv of 13.5%.
With such outstanding scores, our very limited allocation of the collectable 2018 Armagh will be in great demand, so please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to order.
Offered en primeur, landing spring 2023.
|RED||2018||Jim Barry - The Armagh Shiraz||Magnum||£345 per bottle||Jim Barry
The Armagh Shiraz
2018 / / Magnum
£345 per bottle
|RED||2018||Jim Barry - The Armagh Shiraz||Double Magnums||£970 per bottle||Jim Barry
The Armagh Shiraz
2018 / / Double Magnums
£970 per bottle
|RED||2018||Jim Barry - The Armagh Shiraz||75cl||£990 per case of 6||Jim Barry
The Armagh Shiraz
2018 / / 75cl
£990 per case of 6
Tasting Notes“This has attractive dark peaches, red cherries, blood oranges and really exotic fruit aromas with such an expressive nose that is swathed in fragrant spices. The palate has strongly defined dark plums and blackberries and mouthwateringly intense dark cherries. Super succulent and deeply flavored with silky, gently sinewy, young-tannin muscle. A great Armagh for sure. Try from 2028 and drink over the following two decades. 99 points." James Suckling------“A meaty, savoury, spiced nose, something so welcoming about it, warm and friendly with a touch of perfume, dark chocolate, cinnamon and pink peppercorn to the blackcurrant, damsons and plums. Rich, ample and generous, yet delivered with such supple and velvety-soft tannins. This has an elegance to it, a cool sophistication in terms of the profile - neat and tidy, quite linear right now, brimming with energy, not yet fully expansive or loose, but quietly controlled and calm. It's confident though with invigorating acidity and I love the focus, detail and the purity of fruit. Sweet red fruits - strawberries, raspberries and red cherries with a slight balsamic, pomegranate edge that is so delicious. Juicy, crunchy, succulent and ripe but with an effortless edge to it. Supremely drinkable and likeable - what a gorgeous wine! A quality vintage and excellent winemaking skill on show. Ageing 18 months in French oak. 100 points." Decanter