The Cabernet Sauvignon fruit is sourced from Watervale and the Malbec fruit is sourced from Lodge Hill. Malbec, of course, has a long history in the Clare and plays the Shiraz role (from the quintessential Australian blend) in filling out the Cabernet midpalate; all black fruit and dried herbs, savoury and well balanced.
Focusing on the label of wine can often mean there’s not enough going on in the bottle. But not in this case. The wine delivers a full and layered palate experience. While the label is an honest homage to the wines sold by Jim and Nancy Barry under their St Clare Cellars label before the name changed to Jim Barry Wines. Charmingly retro, the livery is a good reminder that the history of Cabernet and Malbec (and the Barrys) in the region goes back a long way; and the Clare Valley remembers.
"A 90/10% blend. The ultra-retro label might lead you to think the Eastern Ranges label is of greater importance/quality. Well, this is by a large margin the better wine. It is full-bodied, the fruit overflowing , the malbec playing a positive role in putting fleshy fruit wherever and whenever the cabernet missed a beat. I just don't get the label."
95 points, Wine Companion (February 2019)
"It’s has a wet earth and very ‘mineral’ pencil sort of feel, blackcurrant and plum, aniseed and dried rose. Medium-bodied, tense and tightly-knit, some raspberry in with the plum, a serious and dry feel, and a long cool finish. It’s such a stylish and sophisticated wine. Distinct claret character too."
94 points, The Wine Front (June 2020)
"There’s a very taut feel to this wine that offers a fragrant nose with abundant red plums and a wealth of mulberries and boysenberries. The palate has a very silky, glossy and succulent feel with gentle oak spice played into dark plums. A blend of cabernet sauvignon and malbec."
93 points, JamesSuckling.com (June 2019)
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.