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LIKE father like son: a crackajack Jim Barry
Pb Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon made by son Peter.


David Ellis

THE late Jim Barry often delighted in telling of his “scientific approach” to creating his first Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon blends in the 1970s – he’d make up a few with varying proportions of each wine, leave them open on the kitchen sink, and then watch and taste their development over the coming few days.

He’d then declare which blend he considered the best, always adding: “First call, best call…” But initially popular as they were at the time, consumer interest faded away in the early ’80s as buyers swung back to single varietal wines.

Ten year’s ago Jim’s son, Peter went somewhat back to the future, creating a Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon from the great 2002 vintage in the Clare Valley, a drop he intended purely for personal enjoyment with family and friends. Their enthusiasm encouraged him to make another in 2005, a crackajack wine that’s collected some prestigious medals and awards both here and internationally.

NEW Zealand bubbly’s a good price
when there’s a party on the horizon.

Peter’s blend is 70% of his 2005 The McRae Wood Shiraz and 30% of the 2005 The Benbournie Cabernet Sauvignon, both very impressive wines in their own right. The blend’s nose explodes with blackcurrant, blackberry, Satsuma plums and Morello cherries, with these following through on the concentrated palate.

The Jim Barry Pb (Personal Bottling) Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 will be released in February at $49.99; you’ll find it a great partner with a good rib-eye.

ONE FOR LUNCH: NEW ZEALAND’s Lindauer has been making a quite stand-out sparkling for some 30 years now, using fruit from its cool maritime climate Gisborne vineyards that’s ideal for making premium bubblies.

A 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir blend, the Lindauer Brut Cuvée NV is just $14.95, a good price for this delightful drop next time there’s a party on the horizon.


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