James Erskine is one of Australia's original zero zero winemakers. For over ten years now he has crafted amazing wines from McLaren Vale and its surrounds. 2020 is no different.
Before leaving a career as one of this Australia’s top sommeliers, in 2008 James Erskine was awarded Australian Gourmet Traveller Sommelier of the year, Len Evans scholar 2008 and was head judge of the Adelaide Review's Hot 100 wine show 2010-2013 to name just a few of his accolades.
While at the peak of his sommelier career, Erskine was already working on vineyards, including consulting to the Bowe Lees Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, as well as making experimental wines as a member of The Natural Selection Theory with Sam Hughes (RIP), Anton von Klopper and Tom Shobbrook. The first Jauma wines came into being with the 2010 vintage from McLaren Vale Grenache fruit.
Manipulation and additions to the wine are shunned. Having met a like-minded grower in Fiona Wood in 2011, Erskine contracted her to look after the sites he leases, managing the McLaren Vale vineyards with strict (though not certified) organic practices.
A lot of Erskine’s reputation has come from his various expressions of McLaren Vale grenache, although his reach is much broader, with an ever changing roster of styles, such as multiple varieties of mélange from Wood’s father’s vineyard, a long-skin-contact muscat à petit grains, a chenin blanc, cabernet franc and a lolly-pink pét-nat made from grenache, called ‘Peekaboo’ to name a few. Erskine has not used sulphur since 2015, and there are no other additions made. All his wines are now closed with a crown seal.
In 2018 James Erskine purchased an certified organic cherry farm in the Adelaide Hills. In 2020 James together with Sophie Taylor and Andrew Douglas began to plant their new vineyards on the farm. We can’t wait to see what comes from this amazing property and exciting winemaker.
Some of James Erskine's brilliant Jauma wines are available right here on Laneway Liquor, including: Tikka Cosmic Cat and UJO.