Greenock Creek, the story
Michael and Annabelle Waugh are uncompromising in
their desire to produce the best possible wines. On the western
edge of the Barossa Valley, in the rolling hills between the hamlets
of Greenock and Marananga, lies Greenock Creek Wines. The
winerys first release was in 1988, when it sold a 1986 Shiraz from its
tiny cellar door situated beneath the Waughs 150 year old stone
cottage. Since then the winery has planted, grafted and acquired more
vines, and now specializes in ultra-premium red wine production. The
Waughs hired superstar winemaker Chris Ringland,
Australias version of Americas Helen Turley, who
also works at Rockford. His own wine Three Rivers, now know only as Chris Ringland, is
arguably Australias number one cult wine, on a par with Screaming
Eagle from the Napa Valley.
Only grapes grown on the
property are used, making it truly an estate winery. The range of
wines includes five Shiraz, two Cabernet Sauvignons and a Grenache,
all processed at the winery on the Waughs Roennfeldt Road property. The wines are released
each year in early September and are sold through cellar door, mail
order, a selected number of retail outlets in Australia and a small
quantity via export.
I was absolutely astounded by the quality of the wines from Greenock
Creek. Robert Parker,
jr. The Wine Advocate.
A great vintage for Greenock Creek, the 2001s offer intense flavors,
amazing extract and power, and long fine finishes. The Shiraz
wines have classic black pepper, with crushed raspberry, and ripe
tannins. The Cabernet has aromas of creme
de cassis and new
saddle leather, with intense blackberry fruit.
The 2002 vintage in Australia will long be remembered the outstanding
quality of the grapes harvested. The red varieties show an
intensity of flavor coupled with an lovely elegance and fine-grained
tannins. Shiraz is characterized by ripe dark berry fruit and spicy
black pepper flavors with fine-grained tannins and excellent length.
Cabernet Sauvignon has thrived in the cool conditions, producing a
crop with a wealth of blackcurrant, bramble and cassis flavors, a
refined structure and clear varietal definition. Considered one of the
best vintages in recent memory, the wines are approachable now, but
will age magnificently.
Greenock Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
Opaque black/purple in color with a fabulous nose of black fruits,
cedar, Asian spices, black licorice, and truffle. Highly-extracted,
with super-jammy, ripe fruit, and Low acidity. A long lingering
"...is made from moderately young vines (11 years), and from
reasonable yields (2 tons per acre), but that hardly tells the story.
This low acid, formidably endowed blockbuster must be the most
concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine I have tasted in many a
year. An opaque black/purple color is followed by a fabulous nose of
black fruits, cedar, Asian spices, licorice, and truffle. The wine
hits the palate with layer upon layer of highly-extracted,
super-jammy, ripe fruit. Low acidity gives the wine an accessibility
and sumptuousness that redefine the word "hedonism." The finish lasts
for more than a minute. This is an exhilarating, teeth-staining
Cabernet Sauvignon that, remarkably, can be drunk now or cellared for
20-30+ years. An astonishing wine!" The Wine Advocate
Greenock Creek Conerstone Grenache
Made from 64 year old low yielding vines. Aromas of kirsch
liqueur and raspberries, with a ripe berry fruit attack and
mid-palate, surprising structure and definition, and terrific richness
"The 2002 Grenache Cornerstone (190 cases) exhibits a fabulous perfume
of kirsch liqueur and raspberries, a corpulent, fleshy attack and
mid-palate, surprising structure and definition, and that fabulous
richness and ripeness that only come from old vines (64 years) and low
yields (.75-1 ton of fruit per acre). Based on past experience with
the 1996 and 1998 Cornerstone Grenache, I would opt for drinking this
2002 during its first decade of life." 95 points,
The Wine Advocate.
Greenock Creek Seven Acre Shiraz
Made from vines less than 20 years old, and aged in American Oak, this
substantial Shiraz boasts an opaque purple color along with a sweet
nose of melted licorice intermixed with blackberry jam, pepper, white
flowers, and a hint of toast. With layers of gorgeous fruit,
voluptuousness, density, and purity.
"The 2001 Shiraz Seven Acre is an opulent hussy boasting magnificent
fruit concentration, enormous body as well as length, and surprising
elegance and purity. As always, the fruit and vineyard character
dominate because no new oak is utilized in these offerings."
98 points, The Wine Advocate
Greenock Creek Alices Shiraz
Greenock Creek Apricot Block
Another example of young vines
making profound wines.
Spending 26-28 months in old American oak barrels and small foudres
(hogsheads), these wines are bottled unfiltered, and exhibits the
intense extract, and style unique to Australia. Made from ultra
ripe fruit, they show purity of the Shiraz grape, rarely seen, without
being monolithic or heavy.
"...Shiraz Apricot Block represents a spectacular example of Barossa
Shiraz. Made from 10-year-old vines cropped at 1-1.5 tons per acre, it
is a dense, full-bodied Shiraz possessing fabulous intensity, great
purity, and a multi-tiered, skyscraper-like mid-palate. It can be
drunk young or cellared through 2018-2020." 99 points,
The Wine Advocate
"From the estates
youngest vineyard (seven years), the 2001 Shiraz Alices (600 cases)
spends 26-28 months in old American oak barrels and small foudres
(hogsheads), and is bottled unfiltered. It is a riveting example of richness,
concentration, and body. It should drink well young, but evolve nicely
for 12-15 years" 98 points, The Wine Advocate
Greenock Creek Roennfeldt Road Shiraz
Made from half-century old vines, the Roennfeltd Road Shiraz is
Greenock Creeks top of the line Shiraz wine. Wine critic
Robert Parker, has compared vintages of it to the great
Bordeaux classics from the 1945, 1947, 1959, 1961, and 1982 vintages.
Describing its character as: "the syrup of Shiraz, with compelling
blackberry liqueur intermixed with minerals, smoke, and truffles. Huge
in the mouth but not overbearing, this wine has a finish that goes on
for nearly a minute. With great purity, massive extraction, and a
blockbuster, multidimensional personality...one of the greatest Shiraz
I have ever tasted." Very limited with less than 400 cases
produced in any year.
"This amazing achievement boasts an inky/black/purple color as well as
a striking perfume of smoke, charcoal, blackberry liqueur, and a hint
of toast. In the mouth, it is fabulously concentrated and tremendously
pure, with layer upon layer of flavors that unfold incrementally.
Mouth-staining, but not over the top, it would be hard to find a more
concentrated wine anywhere in the world. Although the tannin is high,
it is obscured by the wealth of fruit and glycerin. A tour de force in
winemaking, it is probably worth the high cost of admission."
100 points, The Wine Advocate.