Jasper Hill 2020

The red wines of Jasper Hill are highly regarded and much sought after. Over the past decade drought has caused some variation in style and weight, but as long as vintage conditions allow, these are wonderfully rich and full-flavoured wines, albeit with high levels of alcohol. The vineyards are dry-grown (hence drought problems) and are managed organically.  JAMES HALLIDAY

Whether it’s down to this very special rift of dirt or not, these wines are simply incredible. ROBERT PARKER, The Wine Advocate

The Jasper Hill are the undisputed pioneers of the Heathcote wine region, with the Laughton family crafting exceptional wines from their little patch of Cambrian dirt from the early 1980s. Since day one they have also led the charge for organic viticulture and sustainability with no irrigation, minimal tillage and no synthetic chemicals having ever been sprayed in the vineyard since its inception. Choosing this path in the vineyards is no walk in the park, but in turn it naturally reduces the yields and gets those vines reaching deep into the earth, bringing complexity and intensity to the wines.

This uncompromising approach doesn’t come without it’s challenges though and the 2020 vintage delivered a very dry Spring and a hot summer which placed a lot of strain on the Laughton’s dry grown vines, so much so in fact that a viable crop couldn’t be produced aside from a modest amount fruit from the shiraz vines in Georgia’s Paddock.

So in 2020, for only the second time in Jasper Hill’s long history, the last time was in 1988 following the 1987 bushfires, they have made a Georgia’s and Friends Shiraz. A wine that combines the fruit they harvested from Georgia’s Paddock, which was of superb quality I am told, supplemented with fruit from a collection of trusted growers in Heathcote. They have also made their Occam’s Razor shiraz, which is also now sourced from a new vineyard in northern Heathcote.

Sadly, these are the only two wines that have been made in 2020. The good news is both are excellent. The fruit sourced from local growers has delivered a more demure rendition of Georgia’s and Occam’s too has not lost a step with its move to a new vineyard. Collectors and lovers of Jasper Hill’s wines will be disappointed no doubt with the absence of Emily’s and their excellent nebbiolo, but these two wines on offer will provide great enjoyment, as well marking a little piece of history from this highly regarded estate. No hesitation is needed here, you can buy these wines with confidence.