Benchmark Wines by

Jim Barry

The Winery

Jim Barry

It was Jim Barry’s drive and community spirit that helped shape South Australia’s Clare Valley as a benchmark producer of world class Riesling and cemented its place as one of Australia’s premier wine regions. Jim Barry Wines has a strong lineage. Jim himself was the first qualified winemaker in the Clare Valley, graduating with the 17th Degree in Oenology from the famous Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1947. Working for 22 years as winemaker at the Clarevale Co-operative, Jim Barry became a pioneer of Australian table wine. He then went on to establish Taylors Wines in 1969 for the Taylor family.

Today Peter’s children Tom, Sam and Olivia work for Jim Barry Wines as winemaker, commercial manager and brand ambassador respectively. Current custodian’s, Peter & Sue Barry, are deeply proud that Jim Barry Wines is still family owned, with three generations of Roseworthy graduates. The Barry family name is synonymous with the Clare wine region and their deep ties to the local community continue to this day.

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Tasting Notes

While we’re waiting for the next release of The Amargh, Peter Barry presented me with a couple of older vintages for consumers to see how they’re developing. The 2002 The Amargh Shiraz was sampled from a bottle under cork and from a bottle under screwcap. Though I'm a proponent for neither closure, the screwcap bottle was fresher, fruitier and demonstrated a slightly superior texture of tighter, finer grained tannins. However my note and score are for the bottle under cork, which is probably the bottle in most cellars. Very deep garnet-black in color, it displays a lovely choco-mint and mincemeat nose with hints of smoky bacon, coffee, tobacco and cumin seed. The rich, full-bodied flesh is well supported by very crisp acid and a medium-high level of very silky tannins. The finish is very long lending lingering notes of mint, coffee and baking spices. It’s drinking beautifully now and should continue to cellar until 2020+.

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