This has the smoky, sultry thing going on. It has a richness of flavour and oak, all toasty, with charcuterie and iodine inputs. Yet, the fruit has absorbed the oak, restructuring its DNA to match. Full bodied, without question, the tannins ripe, sweet, luscious and creamy. But this is not overblown – there's a balance and it's so important. It has gravitas.
96 points, Wine Companion (December 2020)
Blended and set to be bottled a month after my visit, the 2018 The Armagh Shiraz looks to be a near-repeat of the impressive 2016. It will be given three years in bottle prior to release, so it's still a few years out. That said, it combines luxurious notes of maple syrup with bright red berries in what sounds like a dessert, yet it maintains a sense of savoriness and drinkability. It's full-bodied, richly concentrated and velvety in texture, with a tremendously long, mouthwatering finish.
(95-97) points, Wine Advocate (February 2020)
This has attractive dark peaches, red cherries, blood oranges and really exotic fruit aromas with such an expressive nose that is swathed in fragrant spices. The palate has strongly defined dark plums and blackberries and mouthwateringly intense dark cherries. Super succulent and deeply flavored with silky, gently sinewy, young-tannin muscle. A great Armagh for sure. Try from 2028 and drink over the following two decades. Screw cap.
99 points, JamesSuckling.com (June 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.