wines of Jasper
Hill, Heathcote, Victoria, Australia
Drummonds Lane, Heathcote, Victoria 3523, Australia
Tel: (03) 5433 2528 Fax: (03) 5433 3143
Ron and Elva Laughton’s Jasper Hill makes some of
Australia’s most individual and compelling Shiraz wines. Beginning
in 1975, they were pioneers in Victoria’s Heathcote region. They
have three vineyards. The first, Emily’s Paddock, is 3 hectares and
is mostly Shiraz with 5% Cabernet Franc. The second, Georgia’s
Paddock, is larger, and has 12 ha of Shiraz, 3 ha of Riesling and a
hectare each of Semillon and Nebbiolo which are now just coming on
line. The third vineyard is some 20 km distant at Cornella, still
within the Heathcote region, which has 4 ha of Grenache.
The geology here is important. The vineyards are planted on a
strip of Cambrian soil that is found between two faults. The
predominant soil type is a deep red/brown gravelly loam that allows
low vigour vine growth without irrigation. Because the vineyards are
at an altitude of some 300 m, this is a relatively cool climate area
for Australia, and harvest is usually in April.
They’ve been organic and unirrigated since their inception,
but since 1998 Ron has also been employing biodynamics, although he
won’t put this on the label because he doesn’t want to use it as a
marketing gimmick. No synthetic chemicals or fertilizers have ever
been applied to the vines.
In the winery they take a minimal intervention approach. No
acidification is necessary: this is rare in Australia. The goal is to
produce wines that reflect their terroirs. I'm impressed.
Jasper Hill Georgia’s Paddock Shiraz 2002
Forward nose shows intense, minty berry fruit – sweet and
alluring, and precisely delineated. Lovely weight of pure spicy fruit
on the palate with a nice, spicy tannic structure. Really lovely and
intense. Not overblown despite the impressive concentration. Gorgeous.
Very good/excellent 94/100
Jasper Hill Emily’s Paddock Shiraz/Cabernet Franc 2002
Just 300 cases made. Juicy ripe, pure berry fruit nose.
Distinctive minty, spicy palate with quite tight, fresh fruit and good
acidity. Smooth, firm tannins and a spicy finish. Very good/excellent
Jasper Hill Georgia’s Paddock Riesling 2003
Very aromatic herby, lemony nose. The palate is rich and fruity
with some fruit sweetness and a herby edge. Nicely complex. Very
also: Index of producer profiles; tasting
notes of Australian wines
Back to top