The Armagh they have been waiting 30 years to make
Released exclusively through Hallgarten & Novum Wines, Jim Barry Wines, ‘The Armagh’ 2016 is now available to the UK on- and off-trade. Awarded 99 points and described by Nick Stock of JamesSuckling.com as; “One of the finest releases to date”, ‘The Armagh’ 2016 is the latest in a long line of award-winning vintages that were first introduced to the market in 1985 by Jim Barry Wines, the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Winery of the Year.
'The Armagh’ Shiraz vineyard is located 2 kilometres northwest of Clare township, on the opposite side of the hill on which the Jim Barry Winery is situated. The vineyard derives its name from a nearby hamlet - Armagh - which was established by Irish settlers in 1849 and named after the lush, rolling hills of their homeland.
The unique soil composition is sandy clay topsoil, with a pebbly alluvial layer overlaying a mottled clay subsoil. Plush fruit and supple richness are hallmarks of ‘The Armagh’ style. With oak behind deep, intense fruit and fine, structured tannins, ‘The Armagh’ is highly prized for its consistency and cellaring potential. From the first vintage in 1985, ‘The Armagh’ has achieved remarkable success, attaining the maximum possible rating of ‘Exceptional’ in Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine.
Peter Barry, Managing Director of Jim Barry Wines commented:
“Back in 1985, when my brother Mark and I set about creating a great Australian Shiraz, this was the wine we envisaged. It has taken 30 years of persistence and input from three generations, to craft what I believe is the best Armagh we have ever made.
“It is my greatest pleasure to share this special vintage with my own sons Tom and Sam and continue the journey with them. Tom, as winemaker, has shown tremendous respect for the past in making this wine, whilst also capturing his own style. The 2016 ‘The Armagh’ Shiraz is something that we will treasure and enjoy for years to come. It is a wonderful reflection of all we have achieved over six decades.”
Jim Wilson, Portfolio Director at Hallgarten Wines commented:
“We are hugely proud to have ‘The Armagh’, and the Jim Barry Wines range, as part of our portfolio, and are very excited to be able to offer the wine to the UK trade. To say this wine is ‘iconic’ would be an understatement. Vintage after vintage the wine exceeds expectations and wows critics and consumers globally, and we are excited to see how the wine develops and becomes an icon in its own right alongside its preceding vintages.”
The 70-acre property was previously owned by Duncan McRae Wood and used to graze dairy cows before being purchased by Jim and Nancy Barry in 1964. That same year, Jim planted eight acres of Shiraz vines in 1968 which is today used to produce ‘The Armagh’. At an elevation of 367 metres, the vines follow the contours of the north-west-facing slopes to prevent soil erosion and ensure winter rains soak in.
The 100% Shiraz Armagh 2016 underwent skin contact (post ferment maturation) for two to three weeks, followed by 14 months in 70% French and 30% American Oak.