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Jim Barry

Jim Barry The McRae Wood Shiraz Cellar Release 2011

Jim Barry The McRae Wood Shiraz Cellar Release 2011

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Jim Barry stands as a testament to the pioneering spirit and dedication of the Barry family, who have played a significant role in shaping the winemaking landscape of South Australia's Clare Valley. Founded by Jim Barry, the winery's rich history dates back to his tenure as the first qualified winemaker in the Clare Valley, having graduated with the 17th Degree in Oenology from the renowned Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1947. Jim's unwavering passion for winemaking led him to work as a winemaker at the Clarevale Co-operative for 22 years, where he became a trailblazer in Australian table wine production. In 1969, Jim embarked on a new chapter by establishing Taylors Wines for the Taylor family, showcasing his visionary approach to the industry. The legacy of Jim Barry Wines is deeply rooted in family, with Jim's wife, Nancy and their sons, Peter, Mark and John, playing pivotal roles in the company's growth. Notably, Peter Barry assumed the role of managing director in 1985, solidifying the family's commitment to the winemaking tradition. Today, the third generation of the Barry family continues to uphold this proud legacy, with Peter's children Tom, Sam and Olivia actively contributing to Jim Barry Wines as winemaker, commercial manager and brand ambassador, respectively. This multigenerational involvement underscores the deep familial ties and commitment to excellence that define the winery's ethos.

The vineyards of Jim Barry serve as a testament to the family's dedication to quality and innovation, encompassing 17 vineyards across 320 hectares in the Clare Valley and two vineyards spanning 35 hectares in the Coonawarra. Each vineyard boasts a unique combination of soil profile, climate, aspect and elevation, contributing to the diverse and exceptional range of wines offered by the winery. Among these vineyards, the Armagh Vineyard stands out as a jewel in the crown, with its north-west facing slope and elevation of 367 meters providing an ideal terroir for cultivating The Armagh, The Benbournie Cabernet Sauvignon and The McRae Wood Shiraz. The vineyard's rich history, dating back to 1964, reflects the Barry family's commitment to crafting wines of unparalleled quality and distinction. In addition to the Armagh Vineyard, the Florita Vineyard in Watervale and the Lodge Hill Vineyard in the Eastern Ranges further exemplify the family's dedication to producing exceptional wines rooted in the region's unique terroir. These vineyards have become synonymous with quality, with the Florita Vineyard being the birthplace of Leo Buring Watervale Riesling and the Lodge Hill Vineyard serving as a testament to the Barry family's commitment to owning and nurturing their own vineyards. Furthermore, the Barry family's foray into the Coonawarra region has resulted in the establishment of the Old Penola Cricket Ground Vineyard, where the preservation of the original pavilion and the strategic positioning of vines around the cricket pitch pay homage to the region's history and heritage. Despite the passing of Jim and Nancy Barry their enduring legacy continues to thrive through the unwavering commitment of their family. Their dedication to winemaking, community and innovation has cemented Jim Barry Wines as a benchmark producer of world-class Riesling and a cornerstone of Australia's premier wine regions.

The origins of The McRae Wood Shiraz can be traced back to 1964 when Jim Barry and his wife Nancy purchased 70 acres of prime farm land from their friend and neighbor, Duncan McRae Wood. This special site became the foundation for their first Shiraz vineyard, marking the beginning of a legacy that continues to thrive today. The wine's development reflects the family's commitment to crafting exceptional wines that showcase the unique terroir of the Clare Valley. The McRae Wood Shiraz, a modern and innovative style of wine, was first developed in 1992 to meet the escalating demand for the renowned 'The Armagh' Shiraz, which was only produced in limited quantities. This exceptional wine draws from the finest sections of low-yielding Shiraz sourced from the family's diverse vineyards across the Clare Valley. Notably, it is made from grapes declassified from The Armagh and blended with fruit from special parcels from the family's other Clare Valley vineyards, resulting in a rich and intense expression of Shiraz.

The Jim Barry The McRae Wood Shiraz Cellar Release 2011 is a compelling expression of Clare Valley Shiraz, showcasing the depth and complexity that can be achieved with meticulous vineyard management and skilled winemaking. This wine is an exemplary representation of the region's terroir and the Barry family's unwavering commitment to producing wines of exceptional quality. With its impressive structure and captivating flavors, this Cellar Release 2011 is poised for further development and promises to evolve beautifully with additional aging. In the glass, the Jim Barry The McRae Wood Shiraz Cellar Release 2011 presents a deep, opaque garnet hue, hinting at its concentration and richness. The nose is greeted by an alluring bouquet of ripe blackberries, plums and dark cherries, intertwined with hints of vanilla, cedar, and a touch of warm spice. Subtle notes of dark chocolate and a whisper of toasty oak add further depth and complexity. On the palate, this Shiraz exhibits a full-bodied and velvety texture, with luscious layers of black fruit compote, complemented by nuances of espresso, liquorice and a dash of black pepper. The wine's well-integrated tannins provide structure and support, while a vibrant acidity imparts balance and freshness to the palate. The finish is enduring and gratifying, leaving a lingering impression of dark fruit, mocha and a delightful hint of cracked black pepper.

Full, deep purple-crimson; a quality vineyard, correct picking date decision(s) and good winemaking have resulted in a very good medium-bodied shiraz with attractive, if unusual, clove spice and pepper nuances to the black fruits and fine tannins. A vintage get out of jail free card. James Halliday, 94 Points.

The Finer Details
Style - Red Wine
Varietal - Shiraz
Country - Australia
Region - Clare Valley, South Australia
Vintage - 2011
Bottle Size - 750ml
ABV - 13.5%

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