2016 jim barry, the armagh shiraz, clare valley
Why We're Buying
The Armagh Shiraz represents the apex of Australian winemaking. This brainchild of Jim Barry has earned the highest possible rating in Langton's Classification of Australian Wine. After trying the 2016 vintage, wine critic James Suckling said, "Wow… Really impressive now, but this will deliver much more over the next two decades. One of the finest releases to date."
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.
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
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.