The grapes to produce the Shiraz The Armagh Jim Barry were hand-harvested and meticulously sorted before being destemmed and crushed. Vinification took place in small two tonne open-top fermenters with heading down boards, which submerge the cap while gently extracting colour, flavour and tannins. Pump-overs were conducted twice a day with a rack and return once per day. Fermentation lasted eight days, before being racked to oak barrels where the wine underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine was matured for 16 months in 60% French and 40% American oak hogsheads, of which 85% were new.
The iconic ‘Armagh’ vineyard was named by the original Irish settlers who arrived in 1849 and called the lush, rolling hills after their homeland. In 1968, the vineyard was purchased by Jim Barry who planted it with Shiraz. Today these low yielding vines produce less 27 hectolitres per hectare. The soil is sandy gravel and receives an average rainfall of 600 millimetres per year. The vineyard lies on a northwest-facing slope which acts as a natural sun trap, ensuring the fruit is always fully ripened at harvest time. The Clare Valley climate is continental with a high diurnal temperature difference, producing Shiraz with evenly ripened tannins and flavour.
Certain names resonate strongly within Australian wine history and Jim Barry is one of them. It was Jim Barry’s drive that helped shape South Australia’s Clare Valley as a benchmark producer of world-class Riesling and cemented it as one of Australia’s premier wine regions. Jim was the first qualified winemaker in the Clare Valley, graduating with a degree in oenology from the prestigious Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1947. Founded in 1959, Jim Barry Wines is still family-owned, with three generations of Roseworthy graduates. Jim’s son Peter became managing director in 1985 and today Peter’s children Tom, Sam and Olivia are the winemakers, commercial manager and brand ambassador respectively. Voted ‘Winery of the Year’ by Matthew Jukes they produce highly acclaimed and award-winning wines