Jim Barry - Clare Valley, The McRae Wood, Shiraz 2012
Jim Barry - Clare Valley, The McRae Wood, Shiraz, 2012 (91 TSW)
Jim Barry is based out of the Clare Valley in South Australia, an elevated and cooler-climate region due north of Adelaide and just northwest of Big Shiraz Mecca, the Barossa Valley. Clare is best known as Riesling country and is about as stylistically different from the Barossa as you can get by travelling 100 km or so, producing leaner, less ripe and more elegant wines and rethinking what it means to be an Aussie Shiraz as a result.
The McRae Wood Shiraz is sourced from a special single vineyard in the Clare Valley, a plot of land that Jim Barry purchased from his neighbour Duncan McRae Wood in 1964 to plant his very first Shiraz vineyard. This eponymous bottling honouring the initial owner of the land was first released in 1992, making this the 20th anniversary vintage of The McRae Wood.
Australian Jim Barry graduated as an oenologist in 1947 and started working in a cooperative winery.
He was active there for 22 years before starting his own vineyard.
Back to the wine:
2012 was an excellent sunny vintage where rain near harvest-time actually helped the grapes by delaying and extending ripening.
The Shiraz The McRae Wood Jim Barry’s grapes were destemmed and crushed before being fermented in stainless steel fermenters with heading down boards, which submerged the skins in the fermenting must. This moderated the temperature of the ‘cap’ while gently extracting colour, flavour and tannins. Pump-overs were conducted twice a day with a rack and return once per day. Fermentation lasted for between 7 to 10 days before being pressed. Malolactic fermentation took place in a tank before the wine was racked to French oak where it was matured for 12 months.
My tasting notes:
In the glass a deep purple color.
On the medium(+) nose aromas of black cherries, black currants and smoky cassis with hints of sweet vanilla oak, chocolate and cigar box.
On the palate dry, full-bodied with medium acidity and medium(+) ripe tannins. Finish is nice and long with smoke, tobacco and eucalyptus. Very nice.