Jim Barry The Armagh Shiraz 2002

Posted on April 06, 2013 by John McCabe

 Now this is more of a blog than a News article but....
We were just reading the Irish Times Wine article today where John Wilson writes about the wines of Jim Barry, in Clare Valley Australia, and it reminded us of the time that we inadvertently bought the whole allocation of Jim Barry's top wine The Armagh.


About 2005 we received a call from a customer looking for some of The Armagh for her husband. As we McCabes are from 'the one fair county' I realised that I knew her husband and so went looking for a decent vintage. When I found it, I ordered a couple of cases which arrived 2 days later. I immediately noticed that it was the 2002 vintage which R. Parker had scored at 98 points! More importantly it was also the year that ARMAGH won their first (still waiting for the second!) All Ireland Football Final.

I immediately ordered 10 more cases thinking my family etc would all want one. 7 cases arrived and also a day later a phone call from the supplier asking for some (or all) of it back as that was their total allocation for Ireland! Regrettably, we had already dispersed or promised it and couldn't oblige.

The plan is now to drink the last few bottles with Joe Kernan, manager of the Armagh footballers in 2002, in The Gables one night soon. We don't know Joe (yet) but that won't stop us!!  All remaining bottles have been individually signed by Peter Barry, the winemaker.

Parker's notes on The Armagh 2002 are as follows
 98 points (Extraordinary)
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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