The Barry team extracts the maximum from the vineyard with a deft (14.2% alcohol) touch. It's savoury, earthy, its tannins are four square and ready, charred meat in another channel. It's utterly original, whether or not the family thought they could match Grange. To know the wine you don't have to love it, but you do have to respect it.
96 points, Wine Companion (January 2019)
"Deep, dense, dark, glass-staining red/purple colour, youthful and bold. The bouquet is extremely rich, toasty-smoky and complex, with lashings of toasty barrel overtones allied to concentrated fruit. A hint of mint. Some oyster-shell overtones. Chocolate and vanilla. The palate is silky soft and sumptuously flavoured, that tannins lavish but supple and fine-grained."
94 points, The Real Review (March 2020)
"My pick of the recently bottled vintages, the 2016 The Armagh Shiraz shows a bit more obvious oak (simply because of its youth) but also a wonderful taut tension between ripeness and acidity. The fruit here is a bit redder in profile, leaning more toward raspberries than blackberries, while still being fully ripe. Full-bodied and supple, it finishes cedary, intense and long, adding in complex, lingering spice notes."
97 points, Wine Advocate (February 2020)
"Lavish levels of toasty spicy oak over blackberry, sage, dried mint and oyster shell savoury stuff, some latent floral perfume waiting to escape. It’s deep and full bodied, intense and purple tasting, thick grainy tannin, almost an ironstone sort of quality to them, fresh acidity, and a long tannic grilled meat and fig finish. It needs, or demands, at least a decade of cellaring."
95+ points, The Wine Front (June 2020)
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.
99 points, JamesSuckling.com (June 2020)
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.
99 points, Decanter (August 2020)
The Clare ValleyThe Clare Valley is located two hours north of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty ranges. The region was settled by John Horrocks who encouraged his servant James Green to plant the first vines in 1842. Climate in the Clare Valley is continental with hot summers, cold winters and low rainfall that necessitates supplementary irrigation. Soils in the valley are predominantly red brown loams over shale, permitting excellent drainage. Many of the best vineyards are located at higher elevations of 400-500m on sites that take advantage of the cool breezes that funnel up the corrugation of hills from the south. The Clare Valley is renowned for its zesty fruit-pure Rieslings particularly from the sub-regions of Polish Hill and Watervale. The region also produces intense age-worthy sturdy reds from Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
Jim BarryJim Barry, named after the eponymous founding wine maker, is one of the stalwart wineries of the Clare Valley. In 1959 the late Jim Barry purchased land near the township of Clare, replanting much of it to vineyard. Under the leadership of managing director Peter Barry and sons Tom and Sam Barry the brand has gone from strength to strength. Jim Barry is best known for its flagship Shiraz The Armagh, but also produces an impressive range of wines including Riesling, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon from their vineyard holdings in the Clare Valley and Coonawarra.