The Armagh Shiraz 2018

Jim Barry

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Tasting Notes

Third year for The Armagh on the Place de Bordeaux, and it's an exceptional vintage, packed full of fragrant aromatics and plump, seductive, spiced and nuanced black cherry and damson fruit. Grilled sandalwood oak, firm tannins, plenty of black chocolate shavings, mandarin peel, the stone fruits edge of fully ripe Shiraz (almost as if it has been vinified with Viognier), tempered by sage and freshly cut rosemary herbs. This grabs you and stretches out through the palate. From a superb vineyard planted in 1968 by Jim Barry, with low yields of around 27hl/h (equivalent to less than two tonnes per acre), this is exceptional, with decades ahead of it. I suggest waiting a few years before opening, but the tannins are polished enough that you don't have to if you are prepared to give it a good long carafe. Made by Peter and Tom Barry. Sandy-gravel soils. 75% new oak, mainly 300l with a few 500l, unfined and unfiltered.

Score: 98

Jane Anson, Maturity: 2025+ 02 July 2022

The explosion of black and blue berry aromas with a dazzling interplay of fruit and oak takes your breath away. Very concentrated and compact, but not a jot too heavy at 13.8% alcohol. The incredibly fine tannins provide an extremely sensual texture, yet everything is precisely balanced at the super-long finish. The best ever Armagh! Drink or hold.

Score: 99

James Suckling, 01 July 2022