One of the UK’s most influential wine writers Matthew Jukes – who writes a weekly wine column for the Daily Mail and has over 9 million readers worldwide – is a big fan of Australian wines, and wants his countrymen and women to be too.
But in his recently released 13th Annual 100 Best Australian Wines 2016-2017 list, there was one winery that stood out from the pack.
Naming South Australia’s Jim Barry Wines “Winery of the Year” at the launch of his 2016/17 list, earlier this month, Jukes said the award was recognition for the Clare Valley winery’s “stellar work” in “all sectors of their portfolio”.
Second-generation winemaker and Managing Director of Jim Barry Wines, Peter Barry, attended the launch of Jukes’ famous list in London, and said he was truly honoured by the announcement.
“My family and I are extremely proud of this achievement and of our hard working winemaking team,” Mr Barry said.
“Without their dedication to crafting fine Australian wines from our Clare Valley vineyards, this accolade would not have been possible.”
100 Best Australian wines
Regarded as one of the world’s leading wine experts, Matthew Jukes is a major supporter of Australian wine and his “100 Best Australian Wines” list represents the finest Aussie wines available for purchase in the UK.
In addition to being recognised as “Winery of the Year” Jim Barry wines also featured heavily in Jukes’ top 100, from the newly released The Veto Riesling 2015, to the Barry Brothers Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, and the McRae Wood Shiraz 2012.
“Everywhere you look the wines are delicious, fairly priced and made with love.” Jukes said of Jim Barry’s wines.
“From the ridiculously keenly-priced The Lodge Hill Riesling and Shiraz pair, via a new brand The Veto, to Pb, Benbournie, The McRae Wood Shiraz and The Barry Brothers stunning TGAR (The Great Australian Red) blend.
An impressive tasting experience
In his address to over 300 Londoners (and Australian winemakers) at the 100 Best Australian Wines launch at Australia House, Jukes recalled attending an “impressive” vertical tasting of Jim Barry Wines’ famous Armagh Shiraz.
“I was fortunate to take part in a 30-year vertical of Jim Barry’s iconic The Armagh Shiraz in October 2015 and it was, without doubt, one of the most memorable and impressive tastings of my wine life,” The Daily Mail columnist said.
“My winery of the year this year is Jim Barry in the Clare Valley in South Australia.
“This recognition is due to the stellar work that this family-owned firm does in all sectors of their portfolio.”
Barry shines at Royal Adelaide Wine Show
Jukes also spoke fondly of his experience as a judge at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show in 2015.
“I was also extremely privileged to judge the Outstanding Wines of Provenance Class in my capacity as International Judge at last year’s Royal Adelaide Wine Show,” he said.
“Fifty different wineries entered three vintages of the same cuvee – a new release, a five-nine year old wine and a ten-plus year old wine.
“This was the ultimate last-man-standing elimination bout in which all three wines had to look outstanding, accurate and ultimately delicious,” he continued.
“The highest placed white wine in my notes was Jim Barry’s exquisite Clare Valley Riesling, Florita (the 2014, 2009 and 2004 vintages were submitted).”
The Jim Barry story
The late Jim Barry was a pioneer of the Australian wine industry.
He was the first qualified winemaker to work in the Clare Valley of South Australia, and with his wife, Nancy, built a successful wine business that has produced trophy-winning wines since its establishment in 1959.
Jim Barry Wines has an innovative approach to viticulture and a strong commitment to technological excellence in winemaking.
This philosophy is fundamental to the company’s ability to consistently produce wines of the highest quality.