Regions > Western Australia> Sth Western Australia zone> Margaret River region

: Juniper Estate


Juniper Estate

Harmans Rd South, Cowaramup, 6284

Cellar Door: Daily (10-5)

Ph: (08) 9755 9000

Juniper Estate
BBQ facilities outside the Juniper Estate cellar door

The vineyard which became Juniper Estate was established by Henry and Maureen Wright in 1973 on Harmans Road South just across the road from Vasse Felix.

Henry and Maureen had migrated from Kenya to Australia in the late 1960’s and established the vineyard, which they called Wright’s Wines, in its picturesque setting along the Wilyabrup Creek. The vineyard grows on the gravelly loam soils, that underpin most of the Margaret River wines. The Wrights sold their vineyard in 1998 and it was relaunched as Juniper Estate. It is now owned by Roger Hill and Gillian Anderson.

The original Margaret River vineyards were planted without irrigation. Wright’s Vineyard was no exception and the original 21 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Semillon and Riesling were dry grown.

Dry land viticulture increases the depth of flavour it produces in the grapes. The relative lack of water during the dry ripening months is thought to concentrate flavour into lower yields of intensely flavoured fruit.

Juniper had a state of the art winery and a temperature controlled barrel room built in 1999. Mark Messenger has been the winemaker since 1998. He has responsibility for production of all Juniper wines and is supported by an experienced team in the winery and the vineyard. Mark was Assistant Winemaker at Cape Mentelle, in Margaret River, from 1990 to 1998.

In 2006 the Higher Planes vineyard, 15 km south of Margaret River, was purchased to provide whites but also a Cabernet that won five trophies. In 2007 a third block was purchased next to Fraser Gallop on Metricup Rd.

The Juniper Estate range is made from the estate’s 30 year old vines, while the Juniper Crossing range mixes estate grapes with some non-estate grapes. As well as the red wines the standout for me is the barrel fermented Semillon and Aquitaine SSB.

Wild flowers outside the cellar door in mid-winter (photo: genxywines)
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Juniper Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Purchased: Not ($50)

Drink: 2025+

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2014, aromatic, dry and slightly extracted core of cassis and redcurrant with sage, violet, black olive and mint notes, long and medium-full bodied with a savoury finish, firm chassis of dusty tannins (****1/2)

Juniper Estate Aquitaine Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Purchased: Not ($35)


(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2014, whole bunch pressed and wild fermented, 60:40 blend, 10 months in French oak, waxy and creamy lemon curd, sherbet, cut grass, lychee and citrus rind with matchstick and herb notes, complex flavours and texture with the acid spine providing the drive (****1/2)

Juniper Estate Chardonnay 2012

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2014, Mendoza and Gin Gin clones, perfumed and modestly creamy nectarine, pear, lemon pulp and melon with white flower and fig notes, long and focussed with balanced spicy toasted cashew oak (****)

Juniper Crossing Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2014, juicy mulberry and cassis with some dried herb and mint notes, earthy and medium bodied palate, there’s a firm dusty tannic structure (***1/2)

Juniper Crossing Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2014, creamy and rounded lemon grass, apple, tropical fruit and passionfruit with fine chalky minerality and orange peel acidity (***1/2)

Juniper Estate Cane Cut Riesling 2011

Purchased: Not ($27 for 375 ml)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: June 2014, straw-gold colour, good citrus blossom nose, sweet and creamy lime marmalade, dried pear and golden apple with honey and brown spice notes, cleansing lemony acidity, subtle marzipan/vanilla notes (****)

Juniper Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc with small dashes of Malbec and Petit Verdot, perfumed and well defined blackcurrant and blueberry with violet, spice and mint notes, earthy and medium bodied but slightly demure extract, good line and length with cedar/vanilla oak on the savoury finish, persistent dusty tannins, something for Bordeaux-style fans rather than those looking for a brightly flavoured Aussie Cabernet (****)

Juniper Estate Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2010, Trophy for Best Rhone style or Shiraz at Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2010, reflecting the coldest vintage in the Margaret River’s contemporary wine history, a fine medium bodied and brambly core of mulberry, cherry and redcurrant fruit, savoury, silky and evenly weighted without the under-ripeness that marred most of the reds from the vintage, infused with clove-vanilla oak spice from the mocha-vanilla oak, a beautifully focussed and delicate Northern Rhone style that won’t be replicated in ensuing hot vintages (*****)

Juniper Estate Semillon 2009

Purchased: Not ($26)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2010, a textured barrel fermented and matured White Bordeaux style, waxy green apple, lemon barley, cut grass and nectarine with some oatmeal complexity, bright lemony acids with a touch of lemon grass and grilled nut on the lingering finish, oozes class but will mature earlier than Hunter Valley Semillons (****1/2)

Juniper Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Purchased: Not ($50)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2010, lovely perfumed Cabernet nose, earthy, medium bodied and ripe cassis with herbal roast meat nuances, subtle mint and dusting of spices, the key to the quality is the well controlled extract and tannins allow the region’s subtler nuances to be expressed, near-perfect vintage conditions also helped, toasty mocha-cedar oak on the focussed and linear finish (****1/2)

Juniper Estate Crossing Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Purchased: King and Godfreys, Carlton, Vic ($22)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2009, well poised and minerally style with a focus on texture and tautly handled acidity rather than primary fruit intensity, clean expression of tropical fruit, citrus and guava with dried herb and tobacco notes, very fine talciness infused with the lemon acidity, long and satisfying (****)

Juniper Estate Semillon 2008

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2009, continues in the heavy barrel fermented “White Burgundy” style where the fruit intensity is traded against textural richness, a little muted tropical fruit, melon and lime with a touch of lemon grass and vanilla-cashew, crisp talcy lemon acidity, meant for medium term cellaring rather than long term (***1/2)

Juniper Crossing Cabernet Merlot 2004

Purchased: Acland Cellars, St. Kilda, Vic ($20)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: April 2007, intense and vibrant blackberry and blackcurrant backbone and some raspberry and chocolate nuances, medium-full bodied earthy palate shows plenty of black pepper with underlying cinnamon on the mid-palate with rich mint and vanilla flavours on the finish, dusty tannins add another layer of complexity (****)

JJuniper Estate labeluniper Estate Semillon 2004

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, lively and intense nose showing nectarine, pear and lemon features, palate shows more zesty grapefruit with grassy and herbal notes, barrel ferment texture with a touch of charry vanilla oak showing, old school but a delicious summer afternoon wine (****)

Juniper Crossing Chardonnay 2004

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, mixture of Geographe and Margaret River grapes, delicate aromas of pear, melon and lemon, soft creamy palate with stonefruit crispness to add interest, smoky cashew-vanilla oaking (***1/2)

Juniper Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, red cherry, raspberry and blackberry nose, medium bodied, earthy palate, savoury mid-palate, quite acidic and tannic from this cool vintage, plenty of chocolate oak but needs time (***1/2)

Juniper Estate Shiraz 2001

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, warm weather during the 2001 vintage allowed full ripeness in the Shiraz grapes, raspberry and black cherry aromas, quite spicy with white pepper and liquorice notes, savoury mid-palate leads to toasty vanilla oak, medium-full bodied with decent depth and definition, dusty tannins (***1/2)

Juniper Cane Cut Riesling 2004

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, raisin like grapes were de-stemmed and crushed into the press where they were re-hydrated in the small amount of juice produced, the following day they were pressed to extract the nectar like juice, intense orange blossom, quince and lemon nose, honeyed palate shows an array of sweet citrus flavours such as lime marmalade , some balancing acid (***)