By Andrew Starke

Jim Barry Wines has received a rare perfect score for its Armagh Shiraz 2006 with winemaker and self-confessed cricket tragic, Peter Barry, comparing the achievement to scoring a century at Lords.

The respected Clare Valley producer received a perfect 20/20 score from one of the UK’s leading wine critics, Matthew Jukes, who last night announced his 100 Best Australian Wines at a special function in London’s West End.

Jukes was glowing in his praise for the Jim Barry Shiraz portfolio but was especially excited by the Armagh.

“With more truffles and well-hung game than a Piemontese banquet and so much latent power that it makes me feel bashful to even type its name, 2006 The Armagh is a perfect expression of its site and it is also an awe-inspiring encapsulation of the paradise that is the Clare Valley. For me this means that it is a rare 20/20 wine,” he said.

Peter Barry said he was tremendously excited about the award, revealing to TheShout that he had struggled to keep the news secret since finding out on Sunday (May 15).

“The Armagh is one of only two wines given a perfect score (the other being the 2006 Penfolds Grange) by one of the world’s leading critics who tastes more than 15,000 wines a year,” he said.

“It is the equivalent in the UK of a 100 point score from US critic Robert Parker….or making a century at Lords.”

Barry dedicated the win to the hundreds of other Australian winemakers who are gathered in the UK this week for the largest wine show in the world, The London Wine Trade Fair.

“This is a win for Jim Barry Wines, our dedicated viticultural and winemaking team, but also for the great Australian wine industry,” he said.

“Australia has been doing it tough for the last few years in traditional markets such as the UK. We have been battling a high dollar and a tough retail environment following the GFC.

“We haven’t even been able to win the Ashes,” Barry quipped.

He said there was a real sense in the UK that the tide is turning with a renewed interest in Australian wines.

Jukes confirmed this view with his glowing praise of the quality of Australian wines in general.

“Australia is at the top of its game these days and I regularly have to pinch myself when I realise just how stellar the talent is in this country,” he said.

The 100 Best Australian Wine list is the result of tastings by Jukes over the last twelve months and it represents his opinion of the finest one hundred Australian wines available on High Street shelves in the UK.

The current vintage 2006 Armagh retails for $250 per bottle.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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