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St Clare Modern Classics from Jim Barry

St Clare Modern Classics from Jim Barry

Langton’s caught up with third-generation winemaker Sam Barry to talk about St Clare, Jim Barry’s ultra-retro labelled Cabernet and Malbec from Clare Valley. Explore our portfolio of Jim Barry Wines. 

Jim Barry Wines

We’re proud to present the St Clare wines—a Cabernet Malbec and a straight Malbec—from Jim Barry. The St Clare wines shine a light on one of the Clare Valley’s unsung heroes. These are modern classic wines that collectors of Wendouree will get immediately.

‘These are modern classic wines...’


Before there was Jim Barry Wines there was Jim Barry, a pioneering Clare Valley winemaker, and his wife Nancy. In 1959, they began selling wine under the name of St Clare Cellars. Roll the clock forward 50 years, give or take, and Jim and Nancy’s son Peter and their grandsons Sam and Tom are at the helm and the wines have never been better.


‘Cabernet and Malbec have a strong history in Clare.’


Jim Barry Wines

The varieties Jim Barry Wines is famed for are Shiraz (The Armagh) and Riesling (The Florita). The Barrys are accomplished with Cabernet, too. Malbec is, perhaps, lesser-known to the wine-drinking public but no stranger to the Barrys, as Sam illustrates, ‘Cabernet and Malbec have a strong history in Clare. The first two blocks Jim (Sam’s grandfather) planted at Armagh in 1964 were Malbec (900 vines) and Cabernet Sauvignon (2500 vines). We believe that Cabernet Malbec can easily sit alongside Riesling and Shiraz from Clare. The Cabernet for the St Clare Wines is from Watervale and the Malbec is from Lodge Hill.’

The St Clare label is about as charmingly retro as they come for wines released in the last few years. For those who remember buying the St Clare wines in the 60s and 70s, they are a blast from the past. The wines, too, hark back to earlier generations; the Cabernet Malbec is a contemporary interpretation of an established blend. ‘The St Clare wines are a pure expression of exceptional Clare Valley Cabernet and Malbec. These wines see virtually no new oak or any other winemaking artifice. They are medium-bodied, balanced and fresh.’


Malbec plays the Shiraz role in filling out the Cabernet midpalate; all black fruit and dried herbs, savoury and well balanced. Solo, the middleweight Malbec is long and firmly tannic, showing plums, tobacco and ironstone. Sam on what his brother Tom is doing in the winery, ‘the Malbec is used a little like Merlot in Bordeaux to fill the whole which can sometimes be present in straight Cabernet. The Malbec provides the Clare Cabernet with a purple fruited midpalate and adds a lot of violet and floral aromas. The amount of Malbec is normally about 10-15%.


The wines are very well made, respectful of their past yet looking to the future. 


Jim Barry Wines Newspaper Clipping

And that future? ‘Our St Clare wines going forward will only include Cabernet and Malbec and will only be made in very good years. We have not made them in 2019. This range will sit alongside our other premium wines such as McRae Wood Shiraz, Pb Shiraz Cab, First XI and Benbournie.’


To explore the wines of Jim Barry please contact your broker or shop online.



Further Reading


Burton McMahon: a Sense of Place

Burton McMahon for Langton’s The Yarra Valley collaboration between Dylan McMahon and Matt Burton… 

Levantine Hill is an inspirational Australian first

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Ned Goodwin MW writes for Langton’s about Levantine Hill. The Yarra Valley project is beyond aspirational...

Wills Domain: Margaret River Luxe Home Cooking

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During the depths of lockdown, we had a chat with the good people at Wills Domain… 


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