Matured for 15 months in new French (75%) and American (25%) oak. Strong colour, an abundant mouthfilling array of black fruits and hints of spice; has good tannin support and carries its alcohol with ease; overall harmony and a lingering finish. Drink to 2020. 95 points, Wine Companion.
Deep, dark, dense colour with a black-ish tinge. The bouquet is restrained and quietly complex, interest-packed, while the palate is rich and concentrated, intense and penetrating, with layers of black fruit and espresso coffee, chocolate and toffee flavours all nicely integrated. A big, solid, powerful wine that serves up all the things that we expect in a top Armagh. Drink 2015-2031. 96 points, Real Review (10/2015).
Of the 1999: Big, sweet, rich and perfumed. One with the lot. This has mammoth fruit concentration and tonnes of exotic scent. One for the dyed-in-the-wool hedonists. Has lots of sweet, grainy tannin and a sweet, almost meaty aftertaste. This will live a long time – though it’s desperately good now. Great combination of savoury, meaty complexity and ripe, gutsy, fruity saturation.
95 points, The Wine Front (September 2008)
A very intense, complex and savory-tinged nose with undertones of tar, toasted brown spices and plenty of blackberries. The palate is very fleshy, really succulent, bold and long, showing immense power and deep plum and fruit-paste flavors. Licorice, too. It still manages such poise with great density and focus. Black-fruit finish.
98 points, JamesSuckling.com (June 2020)
Licorice, dark chocolate, toast, vanilla, dark fruit. Intense sweet and thick dark fruit, savoury toasty wood, intensity and carry. Some raisin characters. Super fine tannin. Very savoury. Very long. Quite a force. Way too young as yet. Sweet and long dark chocolate and toast finish.
95 points, The Wine Front (May 2013)
You could fill your pen with this stuff, it's that dark. Aromas of black cherry marmalade, cassis and white chocolate, young and fresh. In the mouth, it's massive and ripe, yet balanced and harmonious, with perky acids and caressing tannins. Be forewarned: Big is not necessarily better. Despite the high score, this wine will drown many foods.
95 points, Wine Enthusiast (December 2002)
Very deep garnet-brick colored, the 1999 Shiraz The Armagh has a touch of balsamic over a gorgeous core of licorice, prunes, baked blackberries and crème de cassis, plus an invigorating waft of espresso. Big, rich, concentrated and ripe in the mouth, it has a soft, velvety backbone and goes into exotic spice mode in the long finish.
94 points, Wine Advocate (August 2016)
Rich, dense and seductive for its layers and layers of fruit, packing in the ripe cherry, plum, berry and spice flavors, all tightly wound and waiting for more to come with cellaring.
93 points, Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator (September 2002)
The well-endowed, opaque purple-colored 1999 Shiraz The Armagh exhibits an intense bouquet of melted licorice, cassis, vanilla, blackberry ice cream, and smoky oak. In the mouth, it is full-bodied, opulent, rich, and tasty, with sweet tannin, adequate acidity, and a long, layered finish. It will drink well for 10-15 years.
92 points, Wine Advocate (October 2002)
Deep ruby to the rim. Ultraconcentrated spicy aromas of cassis, plum, raspberry and redcurrant, with musky, spirity, gamey undertones of animal hide and asphalt. Powerful and velvety; a particularly vibrant expression of extremely ripe shiraz. Distinctly warm and spirity, yet still exudes brightness and vitality. Seductively smooth and seamless, dripping with flavors of ripe crushed raspberry, blackberry and tarry red plum, and handsomely coated in spicy oak tones of vanilla and chocolate.
92 points, Vinous (July 2002)
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.