Jim Barry Wines

 

It was Jim and Nancy Barry who built Jim Barry Wines in the northern outskirts of the Clare Valley in South Australia in 1959 and Jim was the first qualified winemaker to work in the area. As they kept growing and acquiring parcels of land they eventually purchased 70 acres of prime river flats from Duncan McRae Wood in the Armagh area. This property became the foundation of the world-renowned ‘The Armagh’ with its first release in 1985, also the year when Peter (Jim’s second son) took over as Managing Director. Jim Barry died in 2001 and "Sometimes it takes longer than a lifetime to do a lifetime's work… it's now up to my children." is one of his more memorable quotes.

 

 

Nancy and Jim Barry                                                       Peter Barry

 

 

Under Peter Barry’s management, a perfect combination of careful and daring skills the vineyard expanded and established itself as one of the top vineyards in Australia and one of the great Riesling producers in the world.  Just about everyone has heard of their most famous vineyards, The Armagh, The Florita, The Lodge Hill and the Old Cricket Ground Vineyards. They changed over to stelvin many decades ago, again that pioneering spirit showing, and dared to make a sweet Riesling, with lower alcohol and higher sugar content.  It was actually the launch of the 2010 release of the wine that prompted the Barry family to organise a lunch at Spice Temple in Sydney.  Industry dos are aplenty and sadly most of them are short and to the point and not very well attended. This one had an acceptance rate of 100% - unheard of in Sydney. Mind you, the idea of putting on a good old-fashioned lunch with 14 courses and 13 wines brackets of wine, taking the best part of 4 hours and providing taxi transport for each attendee is as brilliant as it is rare. Let me say in advance that all the guests and I I observed or had a chance to talk to thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

 

This was the menu:

DISCOVER BALANCE & HARMONY – Spice Temple, Friday March 25

 

On Arrival:

2010 Lodge Hill Dry Riesling

To Start

Cucumber w smashed garlic and ginger

Tingling prawns

Tea smoked duck breast with pickled cabbage and Chinese mustard

2010 Lavender Hill Sweet Riesling

20101 Watervale Riesling

Followed By

Crisp pork belly and smoked tofu with spicy ginger and garlic dressing

Fried squid with whole five spice and dark chilli paste

2010 Florita Riesling

2009 Florita Riesling

Followed By

Steamed Flathead Jiangxi style

Pickled mustard green and turnip with chilli

Hot and fragrant prawns

2008 Florita Riesling

2007 Florita Riesling

2005 Florita Riesling

Followed By

Spanner crab congee

2010 Lavender Hill Sweet Riesling

Followed By

Shredded duck, dried chestnuts and black fungi with Pixian chilli paste and fried tofu

Hot, sweet, sour and numbing pork

Chilli, sugar, black vinegar and Sichuan peppercorn

Steamed king abalone mushroom, garlic stems, chives and ginger

2004 Florita Riesling

2002 Watervale Riesling

1999 Lodge Dry Riesling

To Finish

Watermelon Granita

2010 Lavender Hill Sweet Riesling

 

As they say: ON A CLARE DAY LUNCH LASTS FOREVER – it did

Food was extremely sensitively cooked and full kudos to the kitchen team who did an incredible job showing respect for the wine and adapting the heat / spice of the dishes so as to make the wine the hero. All the wines were sensational and everyone commented just how good the food and the food and wine matches were.

 

Thanks also to the efforts of Will Fuller and his Marketing Communications Agency FULLER who, although an-out-of-towner totally got the Sydney-vibe and pulled off an event that is pretty unmatched in the wine industry so far.