Jasper Hill – located in the prime rolling countryside of Heathcote, Victoria – is regarded by collectors as one of Australia’s great Shiraz producers. The evocatively named, gorgeously scented and beautifully concentrated Emily’s Paddock and Georgia’s Paddock Shirazes have forged a remarkable reputation for their highly individual character and powerful aging potential. Both are included in the Outstanding category of Langton’s influential Classification of Australian Wine.
The story of Jasper Hill is both endearing and compelling. The great bushfire of 1987 and the ensuing generosity of local winemakers is etched into Australian wine folklore. This is a family enterprise woven by heart and the poetic intricacies of place. Positive energy seems to flow from both setbacks and triumphs. In 2007 Ron and Elva Laughton celebrate 25 vintages at Jasper Hill. The occasion marks the beginning of generational change and new, exciting projects for Ron, Elva and daughter Emily. This fascinating and surprising interview with Ron Laughton – to accompany an important retrospective tasting – is published in its entirety.
In your own words describe the evolution of Georgia’s and Emily’s Paddock and what your hopes were at the start?
– We always wanted to make wines with great balance longevity and power. Over time we hoped that we could develop wines that showed a consistent fingerprint of their own terroir. Just what most fine winemakers would hope for!
What did you know of winemaking and business?
– Before establishing Jasper Hill, I worked in the food industry for fifteen years, starting in Research and Development, through Production Management to Executive Management. My training was in Chemistry and Food Science (don't ever forget that wine is just another food, but a very special and highly revered one at that!) My last salaried position was Operations Manager for Australia's largest dairy company, Murray Goulburn Cooperative, running over a dozen dairy factories that produced everything from cheeses, butter and UHT milk to such esoteric commodities as casein.
The business comprised over three thousand employees and the biggest fleet of vehicles outside government. During my working life I have made jams and conserves, Vegemite, canned tuna and instant mashed potato – the full range. During this period, I developed an acute appreciation for the preservation of natural flavours and a dislike for technological manipulation or desecration of raw materials.
I also developed a great appreciation for the artistry behind a fine cheese or raspberry conserve. Before I became a winemaker I dabbled in home brewing. I was also raised on a farm (sheep and wheat) which was a helpful training ground for the country life. The Laughtons are engineers traceable back to Dublin prior to their mid nineteenth century migration, so my secondary education was at a Technical College. Also my maternal forebears were Scottish raspberry growers. None of this background is exactly grape growing or wine making, but they are perhaps all connected precursors – experience in agriculture, science and business.
Can you give me three critical moments in the Jasper Hill Story?
– The first critical moment in the Jasper Hill story was a visit to the underground drives at Seppelts Great Western as a teenager with my family. There was something very enlightening and romantic about the experience. Our decision to actually leave the city and salary to establish Jasper Hill (and build a new nest) seemed a natural progression for us, but it probably was a critical moment.
A few years after we had started – in 1987– bushfires swept through Heathcote and virtually destroyed our vineyards. The experience was a defining moment because it both taught us of the generosity of spirit within the Australian wine industry and urged us to carry on.
Since then we have received lots of accolades and awards. These
have been very gratefully received and include our first Langtons Classification listing which gave us a special confirmation of our achievements. But these have been career highlights rather than critical moments.
Can you describe Elva’s role and how you all work together?
– Elva is very integral to Jasper Hill. We have a true partnership. Winemaking process decisions are made usually by myself and now with Emily's input, but the philosophical and business decisions are jointly Elva’s and mine. We used to joke that our morning board meetings took place in bed with coffee every day. Now this happens over mid-morning coffee with Emily and often with Georgia as well.
Elva and daughters have been equal contributors to our organic/biodynamic philosophy. We all work very well together as a team, but that does not mean there are never raised voices – any differences of opinion are always expressed as none of us are shrinking violets.
Can you give me an idea of what you think of the major differences of vineyard site – soils aspect elevation etc?
– Emily's Paddock is more exposed. From a topographical perspective it rises 50m higher than Georgia’s Paddock and receives the morning sun earlier. I now believe the major difference between the two sites is in the depth of the Heathcote Cambrian soil – Georgia's is typically 3-4 metres in red soil depth but Emily's comprises only 1 metre of red soil depth over a sedimentary shale.
The combination of exposition, shallower Cambrian soil and shale subsoil is responsible, I believe, in lowering the yield, decreasing the fruit sweetness and increasing the minerality, perfume and tannic structure of Emily's. The deeper Cambrian soil of Georgia's Paddock imparts the greater sweetness of fruit and viscosity.
I know you are low input but are you truly biodynamic?
– We are not certified organic nor biodynamic and really don't wish to get involved in the politics and marketing of certification. But, the vineyards have been truly organic since inception in 1975/76 in that no synthetic agro-chemical herbicide or pesticide has ever been applied. Since 1998, the vineyards and our philosophy has embraced biodynamics to the full. We make our own cows horn compost (preparation 500) but still buy in the other biodynamic preparations that are used in much smaller volumes, including those that are added to our own compost making on site (around 50 tonnes a year).
We pay heed to the lunar and planetary calendar for important activities like harvest and planting. So I think you can say that we are as organic or biodynamic as you can get. Our attitude all along has been to produce bloody good wine in a totally clean way. Certified Biodynamic wine is not always good. Indeed the certification process can be used as a marketing gimmick rather than a true indication of quality.
Our philosophy goes over and above organics or biodynamics in our attitude to irrigation (if you need it you are in the wrong place) and having vines on their own roots (American rootstocks have the potential to alter flavour, growth and ‘thoroughbred’ fruit expression). We minimise solid waste and recycle everything that is not compostible.
We are trialing bio-diesel in our small lightweight 4WD tractors (haven't quite got back to horses yet). No petrol vehicles in the (albeit small) fleet, only diesel cars and trucks. We are self-sufficient in tank water for the winery and dwellings. All liquid waste is retained and utilised on the property. We use soap to wash, rather than petrochemical based detergents. You have to live the philosophy. However, we are not hippies and do have satellite broadband and mobile phones for example.
In 2003 we were invited to exhibit with the "Return to Terroir - Renaissance des Appellation" group of 70 important "bio" growers of great wines. International, many French, the three Australians invited being Vanya Cullen, Julian Castagna and I. This group has toured Bordeaux, New York, San Francisco, LA, London, Madrid, and is going to Tokyo in November.
Aimed squarely at the wine trade, the attendees are growing exponentially each time. I have made a Statutory Declaration that Jasper Hill is at Level Three of the Charter and has been so since the first vintage in 1982. Certification of my bona fides has not been an issue, but I can see that somewhere ahead we shall all be pressurised, reluctantly in some cases, to have a piece of paper to back-up what we do and the chemicals we don't use. The certification process is arse about; why should I have to be certified for doing nothing when the dirty, polluting bastards don't even have a licence to pollute and poison? This question has opened a "green" Pandora’s box!
Tell me about your plans for the future ie, Emily’s involvement?
– We are extremely happy that Emily is now involved. Succession in any family agricultural business is not always guaranteed, particularly in more liberal Australia. In Europe it is more of a forgone conclusion if you happen to be born into a viticultural family. I am delighted to see Emily embrace my techniques and philosophies. I hope to see them expanded upon on and taken to new heights. At the moment I can't imagine retiring, but I am happy to step back a little and guide Emily without overpowering her. Georgia is also involved in the business but not in a formal, salaried winemaking way.
Winemaking regime – main points?
– Keep it simple and interfere as little as possible. Six week, long macerations are normal for us. A new, gentler, de-stemmer and sorting table have been purchased for the 2007 vintage to allow more whole berries in the ferment.
Alcohol – your point of view?
– What's all the fuss about high alcohols? If the wine is balanced and harmonious without alcoholic elbows intruding in the mouth, what is the problem? Some unbalanced wines can be alcoholic at 13.5%. I would rather have ripe flavours and tannins with highish but balanced alcohols than under-ripe flavours and green tannins just to keep the alcohol low. And who said that all high alcohol wines have no longevity? Sure, we have all suffered from variable ripening over the last few vintages but that is our low intervention lot. Long live vintage variation.
The Chapoutier connection – any comments?
– Emily, Elva and I are excited about learning new tricks and doing new things with Michel and Corinne Chapoutier, just as they are excited with the prospects of collaborating with us. The partnership is very dynamic; we have only just started and there are lots of vinous experiments in the wings, both in Australia and France.
Our two partnership wines, La Pleiade in Heathcote and Agly Brothers in the Roussillon, have only just started in the market place. We hope our customers will join us on this journey. However, it is a small diversion only and we shall not take our eye off the Jasper!
Jasper Hill – Heathcote, Central Victoria
Winemakers: Ron and Emily Laughton
20 hectares (50 acres) planted 1975/1976
First Shiraz vintage 1982; Riesling 1984
Jasper Hill produces six wines from three individual vineyards. While Emily’s Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc and Georgia’s Paddock Shiraz are the best known wines Japer hill also makes a Georgia’s Paddock Semillon, Georgia’s Paddock Riesling and Geogia’s Paddock Nebbiolo. Cornella Grenache is a recent addition to the Jasper Hill portfolio.
I recently participated in a complete retrospective of all of Jasper Hill’s wines. It is a remarkable body of work showing an evolution of style and winemaking philosophy and an enduring difference and personality of vineyard site.
Jasper Hill Georgia’s Paddock Shiraz – Langton’s Classification Outstanding
Overview: Jasper Hill Georgia’s Paddock – American and French Oak. Loose-knit strongly flavoured style with dark cherry/ plummy/ mocha fruit profile, chocolaty ripe tannins and sweetness of fruit and oak. Classic and consistent.
1982 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium pale crimson. Intense cherry stone, leather, wet bitumen, touch of graphite aromas. Lightly concentrated wine with developed leather/ mocha/ cherry stone flavours, lacy dry tannins and mineral acidity. Finishes chalky firm. First vintage. At its peak. Now. 82 points
1983 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium crimson. Lovely complex red cherry/ mocha aromas hint of herb garden. Well concentrated sweet-fruited wine with dark chocolate/ red cherry flavours, dense firm slinky dry tannins and some savoury nuances. Finishes long and sweet, but brambly/cedar dry. Drought year. Ash Wednesday bushfires on 16th February. Lovely to drink now but will still hold for while. Now-2012 88 points
1984 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium crimson. Complex roasted/ dark cherry/ chocolate aromas with some floral/ sandalwood notes. Roasted nut/ dark chocolate flavours, dry loose knit chalky tannins, finishes minerally and a touch underpowered. Still holding up but drink soon. A coolish wet year. Now. 85 points
1985 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium deep crimson. Intense red cherry/graphite aromas with some cedar/ camomile notes. Well balanced wine with lovely fruit volume and freshness. Sweet cherry/ plum/ cedar flavours and ripe loose knit/ lacy tannins. Finishes long and sweet but chalky dry. Mild growing vintage. Now-2014. 93 points
1986 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium deep colour. Lovely intense hazelnut/ plummy/ dark chocolate aromas. Richly concentrated wine with plummy/ dark chocolate/ graphite flavours, and dense ripe loose knit tannins. Finishes minerally and dry but excellent fruit sweet flavour length. A dry cool extended summer. A classic vintage. Now-2016. 94 points
1987 Jasper Hill Friends Shiraz
Medium colour. Roasted coffee/ cedar/ spice aromas, some dark cherry/ mint notes. Sweet concentrated wine with raspberry/ coffee/ leather flavours, dry chalky tannins which build up sappy dry - touch choc-minty at the finish. Bushfire went through Georgia's Paddock on 16th January resulting in a Friends blend using fruit from Osica's, Passing Clouds etc. Introduction of red label. Still fresh with quite strong underlying acidity. Cool late season. Now-2012. 83 points
1988 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock and Friends Shiraz
Medium deep colour. Fresh mint/ plum/ wet stone aromas. The palate is well concentrated with mint/ dark cherry/ leather flavours and sinewy dry but long tannins. Builds up chalky dry. Quite muscular with acid poking out. Will hold but won't get better. Drink up. 79 points
1989 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium-light crimson. Cherrystone/ leather aromas with some floral notes. Sweet and sour palate, with sinewy dry tannins, and marked acidity. Fruit is dropping out. Underpowered wine. Hot summer but mid-vintage rains. Drink up. 75 points
1990 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium deep crimson. Cherry stone/ spicy aromas with some herb garden/ chocolaty notes. Well concentrated wine with cherry stone/ dark chocolate/ spicy flavours, chalky dense tannins, finishing minty dry and a touch fiery. Now-2012. 84 points
1991 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium deep colour. Fresh complex wet bitumen/ mint/ meaty aromas with herb garden notes. (Touch of brett?). Sweet concentrated meaty wine with wet bitumen/ mint/ plum flavours, pronounced firm sappy tannins, finishing dry and sinewy. Mild-hot growing season. Best now. Will hold rather than improve. Now. 85 points
1992 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium deep colour. Intense earthy/ plum/ dark chocolate aromas. Well concentrated minerally wine with earthy/ dark chocolate/ brambly flavours, touch of pane forte, fine slinky loose knit tannins. Finishes dry and firm, long and sweet. Cool-mild growing season. Now-2014. 89 points
1993 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Deep colour. Fresh dark chocolate/ menthol aromas with some graphite notes. Fresh, sweet concentrated dark chocolate/ menthol flavours with dry dense lacy tannins and underlying savoury characters. Finishes long and peppery with plenty of dry tannins. A lovely wine from a difficult vintage. Now -2015. 91 points
1994 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium deep colour. Very aromatic raspberry/ blueberry aromas. Palate is fresh and lively with raspberry/ blueberry/ liquorice flavours, fine grainy tannins and fresh minerally acidity. A fruit driven wine which finishes dry and chalky firm but plenty of fruit volume. Now-2018. 93 points
1995 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium deep colour. Intense dark plum/ choco-berry aromas with some graphite/ cedar notes. Sweet concentrated wine with dark plum/ chocolaty flavours, dense al dente tannins, underlying malt notes. Finishes chocolaty and long with some black pepper notes. 2010-2025. 95 points
1996 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium deep colour. Intense fresh redcurrant/ chocolate/ mocha aromas with some floral notes. Well concentrated redcurrant/ plum/herb garden flavours, dense chalky firm tannins and underlying savoury oak. A chalky dry tannin slick at the finish. Lovely flavour length. 2010-2025. 93 points
1997 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium colour. Roasted coffee/ chocolate. Sweet concentrated wine with roasted coffee/ herb garden/ meaty flavours and peppery alcohol notes, fine dense chalky firm tannins. Finishes minerally and long. This has always been a lovely wine. A great vintage for Jasper Hill ( I scored it 100 points in another tasting a while back but this time 1997 Emily’s eclipses this) Now-2015. 96 points
1998 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium deep colour. Red plum/ red cherry/ violet aromas with some underlying savoury oak notes. Deep set red cherry/plum/ musky fruit flavours, firm slinky dry tannins and underlying malty oak. Finishes long and sweet with some graphite/ cedar notes. Lovely concentration and richness but alcoholic kick. Fruit driven wine. Now-2015. 90 points
1999 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Deep colour. Mint chocolate/ brambly aromas with touches of aniseed. Well concentrated wine with mint chocolate flavours and peppery alcohol, fine bristling dry tannins. Finishes firm and chocolaty. Still quite elemental. Needs more time. 2010-2025. 88 points
2000 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Deep colour. Rhubarb/ red cherry/ touch pastry aromas. Well concentrated minerally wine with rhubarb/ red cherry flavours and loose knit but slightly grippy tannins. Finishes long and sweet, but early drinking vintage. Now-2012. 83 points
2001 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium deep colour. Intense liquorice/ black cherry aromas with some mint nuances. Black cherry/ liquorice flavours with some brambly notes, firm dry sappy assertive tannins, but nice core of fruit sweetness. Alcoholic/ tannin kick at the finish. 2010-2025. 85 points
2002 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium deep colour. Rich mocha/ pane forte aromas with some musky/ Turkish delight notes. Hint of herb garden. Dense chocolaty wine with plenty of mocha/ pane forte/ musky flavours, malty oak and fine slinky dry tannins. Finishes long and sweet. Top notch vintage but needs time to evolve. 2010-2030. 98 points
2003 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Deep colour. Intense dark cherry/ chocolate/ graphite aromas. Immensely concentrated almost soupy wine with deep set dark cherry/ aniseed flavours, savoury oak and briary dry tannins. Plenty of flavour length and fruit sweetness. A wine with tremendous fruit volume and weight. Needs time to unpack. 2012-2028. 90+ points
2004 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Deep colour. Intense aniseed/ dark cherry/ aniseed aromas. Classical wine with dark cherry/ aniseed flavours, fine chalky/slinky tannins and underlying savoury malt oak. Finishes very firm and tight but excellent fruit length and power. Still very elemental but plenty of energy and life for long term ageing. 2012-2030. 93 points
2005 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz
Medium deep colour. Aniseed/ raspberry aromas with some savoury notes. Well balanced wine with sweet raspberry/ aniseed flavours, minerally acidity and fine loose knit tannins. Finishes minerally and long. More elegantly structured than previous vintages. 91 points
Jasper Hill Emily’s Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc – Langton’s Classification Outstanding
Overview: Jasper Hill Emily’s Paddock. French oak. Dense muscular wine with graphite/ red cherry/ dark chocolate aromas. Palate is dense and concentrated with sinewy dry tannins but plenty of fruit sweetness and richness. The wines peak and trough and seem to reflect the light and shade of vintage more profoundly. When on song outperforms Georgia’s.
1982 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Medium light crimson. Wet stone/ leather/ almond aromas. Dry, sinewy wine with almond/ leather flavours and dry pronounced tannins. Fruit has completely dropped out. Past. 70 points
1983 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Medium deep colour. Almond/ dark chocolate/ touch leather aromas. Hint of wet stone. Dark cherry/ almond/ wet bitumen and sweet fruit flavours and dry desiccated tannins. Finishes brambly dry, but long. Very muscular wine. Now. 83 points
1984 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Medium colour. Red currant/ pop corn/ meaty aromas. Red currant/ meaty/ graphite flavours, fine pronounced chalky firm tannins finishing earthy firm and touch metallic. Now. 80 points
1985 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Medium colour. Pane forte/ graphite/ cedar aromas. Well concentrated palate with prune/ pane forte flavours and graphite/ wet bitumen notes, minerally acidity and firm slinky tannins. Finishes chalky/ grippy and fruit sweet. Now-2010. 85 points
1986 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Medium colour. Sandalwood/ cedar/ redcurrant aromas with some meaty/ herb garden notes. Sweet redcurrant/ meaty flavours with some silage notes, fine bone dry lacy tannins. Finishes minerally. Plenty of flavour length. Still holding up but drink soon. Now-2012. 86 points
1987 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Deep colour. Dried herb aromas with some cherry stone/ graphite notes. Sweet concentrated palate with deep set dark cherry/ herb garden flavours, dense chalky tannins finishing leafy firm. Lovely core of fruit sweetness. Now-2015. 90 points
1988 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Dark colour. Liquorice/ herb garden/ red cherry/ fresh mint aromas. Fresh beautiful wine with liquorice/ dark chocolate/ dark cherry flavours, dense dry slinky/ chocolaty tannin and underlying savoury oak. Finishes minerally and long with plenty of flavour length. 93 points
1989 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Medium colour. Leather/ pane forte aromas with some herbal notes. Sweet and sour wine with sour cherry flavours, sinewy tannins and mineral acidity. Underpowered wine. Drink up. Now. 75 points
1990 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Medium deep crimson. Dry chocolate/ cedar aromas with some herb garden notes. Chocolate/ cedar flavours pervade with dry dense muscular tannins, finishing brambly and dry. Very structured wine. Will hold but will not improve. Now-2012. 85 points
1991 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Medium deep colour. Red cherry/ red currant/ camomile touch herbal/ wormwood aromas. Sweet red cherry/ red currant/ brambly flavours, sinewy dry - touch grippy tannins. Very dry tannins. Tannins are very prominent. Will probably never soften. Now-2015. 85 points
1992 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Medium deep colour. Fresh herb/ rosemary/ red currant aromas with some aniseed notes. Palate is really well balanced with sweet red cherry/ meaty flavours and fine lacy dry tannins. Finishes chalky firm, long and sweet with some herb notes. 93 points
1993 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Deep colour. Red cherry/ liquorice/ vanillin aromas - some meaty notes. Sweet concentrated wine with red cherry/ liquorice flavours, fine chalky tannins and underlying savoury notes. Finishes peppery dry. Now-2016. 87 points
1994 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Deep colour. Fresh herb garden/ red cherry/ dark chocolate aromas. Well balanced wine with red cherry/ plummy flavours and some herb notes, touch of nutty/ vanillin oak, finishes oaky dry but long and sweet. Now-2015. 92 points
1995 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Medium deep colour. Medium deep colour. Fresh cedar wood/ red plum/ blackcurrant aromas with some graphite notes. Beautifully focused wine with red plum/ cedar/ cassis flavours, savoury malt oak characters and fine dense chalky tannins. Finishes firm and dry but has plenty of flavour length. Lovely wine. Drinking well now but will get much better with further cellaring. Now-2030 Magnum only. 96 points
1996 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Medium deep colour. Fresh rose garden/ mint/ cassis aromas with some savoury/ notes. Well concentrated wine with fresh rose garden/ mint/ aniseed flavours, and dry lacy tannins. Peppery alcoholic finish, but minerally and long. Tannins kick up. 88 points
1997 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Medium deep colour. Lovely wine with plummy/ liquorice/ raspberry aromas. Sweet concentrated wine with plum/ dark chocolate flavours. Chalky dry/ chocolaty dense tannins, lovely vanilla/malt oak notes. Finishes firm and dry, but long and sweet. Classic wine. 2010-2025 100 points
1998 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Deep colour. Fresh dark cherry aromas with some herb garden/ camomile notes. Hint of mint. Lovely sweet dark cherry/ touch bourbon/ malt flavours, dense touch al-dente tannins finishing long and sweet, but chalky firm. Now -2020. 94 points
1999 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Deep colour. Complex mint chocolate/ black cherry/ mocha/ bitumen aromas. Well concentrated wine with black cherry/ mint chocolate flavours and some herb notes, plenty of savoury/ cedar notes and fine gritty dry tannins. Finishes long and sweet with quite an alcoholic kick! 90 points
2000 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Deep colour. Ginger/ red currant/ malt aromas. A fresh fruit driven wine with red currant/ malt/ ginger mint flavours, fine grippy dry tannins, finishing brambly dry and peppery (alcohol). Now-2018. 85 points
2001 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Deep colour. Ginger/ black berry aromas with some herb garden notes. Sweet ginger/ dark berry fruits, briary firm - touch sappy - tannins, underlying new malt/ ginger/ spice oak. Finishes firm and long. 2010-2025. 85 points
2002 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Deep colour. Red cherry fresh mint aromas with some savoury new oak notes. Sweet concentrated wine with red cherry/ mint / herb/ elderberry flavours, fine dense chocolaty slightly brambly tannins and sweet spice/ malt oak. Finish long and sweet. Still elemental. 2012 – 2030. 95 points
2003 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Deep colour. Liquorice/ black cherry aromas with some cedar/ graphite notes. Deep concentrated wine with black cherry/ liquorice flavours, firm dry chalky tannins and underlying new oak. Finishes firm and tight. Muscular wine but packed with fruit sweetness. 2012-2030. 89 points
2004 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Deep colour. Intense ginger/ black berry/ musky plum aromas. Immensely concentrated wine with deep set black cherry/ ginger/ liquorice flavours and dense chocolaty fine tannins, plenty of fruit sweetness and underlying new malt/ ginger oak. Finishes firm and dry, long and flavourful. Top notch. 2015-2030. 96 points
2005 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc
Medium deep colour. Minty/ redcurrant/ ginger. Ginger malt/ red currant flavours with fresh minty notes, fine slinky dry loose knit but very dry tannins. Finishes quite minerally and dry. 2010-2020. 90 points
Jasper Hill Georgia’s Paddock Riesling
Overview: Jasper Hill Georgia’s Riesling.
Plenty of lemon/ herb garden aromas with crunchy/ piercing acidity and plenty of fruit volume. Has integrity of style but difficult to pin point in the context of ultra-fine Riesling.
1985 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Medium gold. Intense lemon curd/ butterscotch/ aromas. Sweet concentrated palate with lemon curd/ herb/ butterscotch/ grapefruit flavours, and fine mineral acidity. Nice fruit sweetness and flavour length. Now - will hold for a while. Now-2012. 85 points
1986 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Medium colour. Intense marmalade/ lemon curd. Sweet lemon/ minerally/ herb garden flavours, piercing acidity but good flavour length. Now. 88 points
1987 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Medium colour. Honey/ herb garden aromas with touch of lemon curd. Sweet honey/ pastry flavours, with some herb notes, touch phenolic. Strong acidity. Now 83 points
1988 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Gold colour. Lemon herb aromas with some developed toasty notes. Sweet lemon/ herb/ toasty flavours, sweet fruit and fine mineral acidity. Finishes dry and long. Now. 80 points.
1989 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Pale gold colour. Intense lime/ lemon aromas. Lovely aged wine with pure lemon/ lime flavours and fine indelibly long acidity. Chalky fine finish. Now. 90 points
1990 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Gold colour. Menthol/ herb garden/ lemon curd aromas. Minerally herb garden/ lemon flavours. Leafy firm tannins. Finishes lemony. Now-2010. 80 points
1991 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Golden colour. Menthol/ lime/ apricot aromas with touch of camomile. Sweet apricot/ lime/ honey flavours, plenty of richness and concentration. Touch leafy. Finishes minerally and long. 85 points
1992 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Gold colour. Herb garden/ camomile aromas . Sweet lemony flavours with touches of ginger/ honey. Minerally long acidity. Quite tangy and sweet. Now-2012. 89 points
1993 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Gold colour. Complex toasty lemon aromas. Sweet ripe toasty lemon pear skin flavours, Fine minerally cutting acidity. 90 points
1994 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Gold colour. Grapefruit/ pear/ marmalade toast aromas - touch of oilskin and flavours. Well concentrated wine with deep set fruit and long clear acidity. Finishes touch chalky but minerally. 84 points
1996 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Gold colour. Brassy lemon curd aromas with some herb notes. Sweet lemon barley flavours, touch leafy/ al dente with quartz-like acidity. Really nice juicy fruit. 88 points
1997 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Brassy colour. Oilskin/ brassy/ lemon curd aromas. Fresh lemon curd/ herb flavours and strong slatey acidity. Finishes long and sweet. Surprising wine. 89 points.
1998 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Medium pale colour. Intense pear skin lemon rind aromas. Well concentrated wine with pear skin/ lemon/ oilskin flavours, fine mineral acidity finishing chalky but long. Touch skinsy. Now. 90 points
1999 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Medium pale colour. Fresh herb garden / lemon grass aromas. Sweet lemony/ pear flavours, marked acidity. Crunchy apple finish. Very minerally and dry. Now-2010. 90 points
2000 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Pale colour. Pear skin/ musky/ grapefruit aromas. Sweet grapefruit flavours, searing/ cutting acidity. Finishes long and sweet. Acidity is very pronounced. Now-2012. 87 points
2001 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Pale colour. Ripe grapefruit/ touch apricot aromas - hint of pear. Very fruit driven wine almost pear juice/ lemon curd flavours, fine mineral acidity which builds up searing, viscous. Finishes long and sweet. Now -2012. 87 points
2002 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Pale colour. Lemon/ lanolin/ pear skin aromas. Top notch wine with lemony/ lanolin/ pear juice flavours, touch of musk, racy/ minerally acidity and tremendous flavour length. Gorgeous wine but drink soon. Now-2015. 93 points
2003 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Pale colour. Lemon essence aromas with some camomile notes. Sweet slippery lemon essence/ grapefruit flavours, fine mineral acidity. Kicks up chalky dry at finish. Now-2012. 84 points
2004 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Pale colour. Intense camomile/ lemon/ pear skin aromas. Beautifully balanced wine with pear drop/ camomile/ lemon flavours, minerally mouthwatering acidity and lovely minerally flavour length. 94 points
2005 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Pale colour. More restrained lime/ cumquat aromas with some camomile notes. Concentrated wine with lemon/ lime flavours, bright but cutting long acidity. Finishes quite steely and dry. 85 points
2006 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Riesling
Pale colour. Pear/ apple/ violet aromas. Apple pear violet flavours, very strong mineral acidity but tremendous vitality and flavour length. Mouthwatering. 87 points
Jasper Hill Georgia’s Paddock Semillon
Overview: Jasper Hill Gerogia’s Paddock Semillon. Ron Laughton’s indulgence. Some of the latest vintages are good. But at best this is a curio.
1997 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Semillon
Gold colour. Toasty/ lanolin/ peach aromas. Rich almost essence like wine with ripe peach/ apricot/ marmalade flavours and fine mineral acidity. Lanolin/ almond/ coconut notes at the finish. Now. 80 points.
1998 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Semillon
Gold colour. Toasty/ tropical fruit/ banana aromas. Sweet toasty/ lemon curd/ banana flavours. Oily oak dominates palate. 73 points
1999 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Semillon
Gold colour. Touch oxidized. Herb garden/ toast aromas. Grapefruit/ toasty aromas, tangy acidity finishing quite steely dry. Sweet and sour wine. 75 points
2000 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Semillon
Pale colour. Dried apricot/ lemon aromas Sweet apricot/lemony flavours, lanolin toasty oak with leafy characters. Finishes chalky dry.79 points
2001 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Semillon
Pale colour. Very classical lanolin/matchstick/ pear skin aromas. Sweet lanolin/ pear skin flavours and some savoury oak, slight sappy notes. Finishes crunchy dry. Alcoholic. Now. 84 points
2002 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Semillon
Pale colour. Apricot/ toasty/ coconut aromas. Sweet apricot/ coconut/ toasty flavours, lemon curd, indelibly strong acidity. Finishes lemon curd flavours. Toasty oak finish. Now-2010. 86 points
2003 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Semillon
Pale colour. Lemon/ herb garden with some apricot notes. Sweet lemon/ apricot flavours, sweet apricot flavours, fine minerally acidity. Lovely viscosity and flavour length. 90 points
2004 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Semillon
Pale colour. Intense grassy/ lemon/ honey aromas. Sweet lemon/ honey flavours, toasty/ vanilla oak, some leafy nuances. Finishes bitter sweet. 83 points
2006 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Semillon
Pale colour. Lanolin/ matchstick/ tropical lemon grass herb garden aromas. Toasty/ lanolin/ minerally acidity, lovely fruit sweetness and flavour length. Now-2012. 91 points
Jasper Hill Georgia’s Paddock Nebbiolo
Overview: Jasper Hill Georgia’s Paddock Nebbiolo. First vintage is top notch. Then fog. Seems as though this is going to be very dependent on vintage. A work in progress.
1999 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Nebbiolo
Medium colour. Roses/ wet minerally aromas - some herb notes. Sweet roses/ wet bitumen, sweet tannins, lovely meaty nuances. Finishes chalky/ sinewy dry. Lovely fruit sweetness. Remarkably beautiful wine. Now-2015. 93 points
2000 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Nebbiolo
Medium colour. Wet bitumen/ camomile meaty aromas. Sweet minerally - touch sappy herb notes, fine sinewy tannins. Finishes chalky earthy firm. Builds up brambly dry. Now-2012. 83 points
2001 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Nebbiolo
Medium deep colour. Smoky bacon earthy tea leafy aromas and flavours, Has some fruit richness but lack power and chalky dry brambly tannins. Will turn to leather soon. Now. 75 points
2002 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Nebbiolo
Medium colour. Fragrant musky/ Turkish delight/ rosewater/ touch of raspberries. Sweet Turkish delight/ musky flavours, fine minerally dry/ chalky tannins. Finishes very dry. Touch of pepper. 2010-2018. 85 points
2003 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Nebbiolo
Medium colour. Rose/ raspberries/ with menthol notes. Sweet rose/ raspberry flavours/ leafy dry tannins - touch sappy. Finishes long and sweet. Quite sappy/ gravelly at finish. 2008-2016.
2004 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Nebbiolo
Medium colour. Intense wet bitumen/ rose water aromas with some liquorice notes. Sweet concentrated wet bitumen/ rose/ musky flavours, brambly dry tannins. Very leafy dry at the finish. A fur ball. Probably come around. 2012-2025. 85 points
Jasper Hill Cornella Grenache
Jasper Hill Cornella Grenache. Useful type of wines but difficult to see a regional thumbprint or house style yet.
2004 Jasper Hill Cornella Grenache
Medium deep colour. Minty/ strawberry aromas. Menthol strawberry musky flavours, slinky dry tannins. Finishes firm and tight. Now. 78 points
2005 Jasper Hill Cornella Grenache
Medium deep colour. Musky plum raspberry aromas. Sweet musky plummy flavours, fine boney dry tannins but lovely juicy fruit flavours. Finishes long and sweet and minerally. Now. 88 points
Overview: Occam’s Razor. A work in progress. Oak regime in 2004 may have been too strong for fruit? However clearly this is an evolving style with tremendous potential. Emily Laughton’s own wine.
2001 Occam's Razor Shiraz
Medium colour. Blueberry/ aniseed aromas with some dark chocolate notes. Blueberry/ chocolate flavours with some back pepper notes, sinewy dry tannins, underlying savoury notes. Finishes chalky dry and peppery. 84 points
2002 Occam's Razor Shiraz
Medium deep colour. Powerful resonating wine with lovely cedar/ spice/ dark chocolate aromas and blackberry confit nuances. Very rich well concentrated wine with dark chocolate/ firm dry loose knit quite iron like tannins. Finishes quite muscular but lovely fruit quality. 93 points
2003 Occam's Razor Shiraz
Medium deep colour. Intense black cherry/ dark chocolate aromas with some herb garden rosemary aromas, Sweet concentrated fruit sweet wine, supple firm almost ball bearing like tannins but lovely fruit resolution and flavour length. Quite brambly at finish. 85 points
2004 Occam's Razor Shiraz
Deep colour. Plummy/ violet aromas with some brambly notes. Sweet plummy/ liquorice flavours, high alcohol, firm chalky dry slightly sappy tannins and malt oak nuances. Finishes sappy dry. 83 points
2005 Occam's Razor Shiraz
Deep colour. Lovely blackberry raspberry slightly creamy aromas vanilla malt notes. Sweet blackberry raspberry, fine grippy/ muscular loose knit tannins with wet stone notes. Brambly bitter-sweet finish. 90 points
La Pleiade Shiraz
Overview: La Pleiade Shiraz. Again another work in progress but the direction is exactly right. Both the 2004 and 2005 were impressive. Joint venture between Jasper Hill and Chapoutier.
2003 La Pleiade Shiraz
Deep colour. Dark chocolate. 10 acres Shiraz 10 acres own roots French cuttings/ masale selection from Hermitage Shiraz - Liquorice/ brambly/ choco-berry. Sweet choco-berry fruit flavours, fine gravelly tannins and savoury oak. Finishes sinewy and bitter firm but plenty of fruit length. 2008-2025. 85 points
2004 La Pleiade Shiraz
Deep colour. Dark chocolate/ plummy/ slight musky aromas. Rich concentrated wine with deep set dark chocolate/ plummy flavours, ripe chocolaty/ chalky tannins, finishes aniseed, long and sweet. Lovely fruit sweetness and chalky tannins. 2010-2020. 94 points
2005 La Pleiade Shiraz
Deep colour. Very fresh, Aromatic floral roses/ camomile/ wet stone/ blackberry aniseed aromas with some vanilla/ spice notes. Sweet concentrated roses/ blackberry/ raspberry flavours, very dry bitter/ touch brambly tannins finishes long and sweet. Lovely bitter sweet finish. Delicious wine. 2010-2020. 95 points
Agly Brothers Cote du Rousillon. A quirky wine. Seriously good fun rather than serious wine. To glug rather than put away. Joint Venture between Chapoutier and Jasper Hill.
2003 Agly Brothers Cotes du Roussillon
Deep colour. Bubblegum/ juicy fruit/ bitumen aromas. Sweet juicy fruit/ bitumen flavours, fie chalky flavours, bubblegum flavours, quite minerally and chalky. Bitter sweet finish. 83 points
2004 Agly Brothers Cotes du Roussillon
Deep colour. Fresh herb garden/ wet stone aromas red cherry notes. Sweet fresh wet stone red cherry flavours, minerally, flavours, chalky dry but very loose knit tannins.
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