The other night we decided to open a bottle of Jim Barry, The McRae Wood Shiraz 2005. Jim Barry Wines are a member of the Australian First Families of Wine; Jim Barry founded the vineyard in 1959 with his wife Nancy when they purchased their first property on the northern outskirts of Clare, in 1964 they added 70 acres of prime river flats from Duncan McRae Wood in the Armagh area of Clare. In 1977 they added a further 329 acres, with the purchase of the Lodge Hill Property, and in 1986 his sons added the renowned Florita vineyard, which is celebrated for its superb Rieslings.
The fruit for this wine as you may have expected comes from the Duncan McRae Wood vineyards, which were planted with Shiraz vines in 1964, which I have to agree was an inspired choice of location and variety. In producing this wine two thirds will spend 15 months in new American oak, with the other third being in older American oak, before being blended.
On pouring you got an opaque inky/purple colour which is just amazing, on the nose you wonderfully pronounced aromas of Blackcurrants, Raspberries, Liquorice and violets. On the palate you these, with the sweet spice of liquorice and cinnamon being more predominant, to go along with these you also got a hint of cocoa, that just lingered around in the mouth for ages. With these flavours and aromas, you got just enough acidity to make your mouth water, and a large amount of fine, silky tannins that just combined together to create what I can only describe as an absolutely stunning wine.
This wine showed great structure and complexity that while it was drinking great now, will last for a good few years yet refining it further and making smoother and smoother. Is this a wine that I would recommend, most definitely, the only piece of advice I would give is to make sure you let the wine breathe before you start to drink it, to make sure all the flavours come through beautifully.