Mike Bennie, The Wine Front "While tasting through a suite of 2017 Greenock Creek releases I kept gravitating back to the non-shiraz wines, specifically the cabernet sauvignon and mataro that were sent. This is one of the wines that sees French oak at Greenock Creek. Unfined-unfiltered to bottle. Bold, luscious and assertive style of cabernet sauvignon but it holds its muscular physique well. Rich cassis, new leather, lavender, woody spice and sandalwood characters emerge. Tannins are chewy, slightly woody, and finish the wine in chomps of wood spice and slight bitterness, though that feels apt after the thick, generous front and mid-palate stuffed with ripe fruit and lavish flavour. Strap in."
Winemaker "Satsuma plum with garnet red hues. Ripe blackcurrants with luscious liquorice and spearmint. Mouth filling and complex. Blackcurrants and anise are intertwined with boysenberry juice, green tea leaves and freshly turned earth/tar. The tannins are dusty and provide the wine with a rustic, savoury edge that provides an intriguing palate structure with the spiced oak and hint of lemon myrtle. Hand harvested and de-stemmed without being crushed. Fermented in concrete open fermenters for 7-10 days with 4 pump overs to maintain a fermentation temperature of 20-22’C. Drained and pressed though our wooden basket press before being transferred into seasoned French oak for 27 months. Bottled un-fined and unfiltered."
Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass
The Zalto Bordeaux glass is recommended for weightier style reds, probably our most widely used glass when tasting in house, this glass is great for many different wines. The large bowl helping aerate and soften tannins whilst accentuating the wine's depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhône style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.
"Plums, berries & a splash of dark chocolate with a velvety finish."
"Unique characteristics and complex flavours."
"Intensely perfumed and with magnificent colour"
A wine of remarkable depth and quality
Now, under new ownership, Greenock Creek is putting the wheels in motion to expand their global reach, which and to be fair to the previous owners, Michael and Annabelle, has lost much ground over the past decade. We have been provided with the freedom to represent these incredible wines throughout the UK, Europe and the USA which we will do with much vigour and with huge smiles on our faces, as these wines are simply fantastic.
Michael Waugh was a bricklayer, a trade which brought him to Barossa in the 1970s. With his wife Annabelle, they purchased a 20-acre property near Seppeltsfield in the mid-1970s . The property was a neglected house along with an almond & apricot orchard and roughly 2 acres of old Shiraz vines. It is understood that Michael planted an acre of Chardonnay and produced several vintages from these vines. Of course, an ill-conceived idea as the Barossa climate and Chardonnay are a bad combination. Originally, Michael sold the grapes to Seppelt’s until the late 1980s when, and with the support of Chris Ringland, he began to produce his own wine from old Shiraz vines.
In mid-1990, the celebrated Roennfeldt Road property which consisted of 6 acres of Grenache, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon vines along with 8 acres of apricot orchards, which naturally enjoyed basking in the Barossa sun was purchased. ’95 saw the first vintage of the Roennfeldt Road Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz from this entirely dry-farmed vineyard. The apricot orchard was pulled out and replanted with 8 acres of Shiraz, and aptly named the Apricot Block. Alice’s Vineyard was planted on a 20-acre property adjoining the original homestead on Radford Road and produced its first vintage in 2008.
The world market became obsessed with this small, boutique winery, when and at his most prominent, Robert Parker awarded 100 points for the ’95 Roennfeldt Road Shiraz. Parker awarded a further 100 points for the ’96 & ’98 vintage. Their ’98 Roennfeldt Cabernet Sauvignon also received 100 points. Skip a few vintages until the ’01 & ’03 Creek Block Shiraz scooped 100 points and both the ’02 Roennfeldt Road Shiraz & Cabernet received the same accolade. Five wines have been awarded 99 points and nine, 98 points… To date, Greenock Creek is the most ‘Parker’ celebrated Australian winery(Penfolds Grange & Torbreck The Laird have each received three 100-point scores, two for Torbreck Run Rig & Astralis and Hill of Grace has never been awarded 100 points).
There is a new winemaker too and we spent a little time getting to know Alex (a brief Q&A is below). Exciting plans will be revealed this year. Until then, enjoy these charismatic, individual and rare wines which are produced in minute quantities…
A land of rolling hills and ancient vines, in the heart of South Australia, Barossa is arguably Australia’s most recognised wine region, but has not been without its ups and downs.
Barossa’s story began in the mid 1800s when a group of Silesian Lutherans, fleeing religious persecution, settled in the region and began working the land of Barossa’s largest land owner George Fife Angas. The settlers took to growing fruit and due to the climate in the region, grapes were most ideally suited and toward the end of the 1800s, several wineries had been established. Distinctly Germanic names such a Johann Henschke, Oscar Seppelt of Seppeltsfield and Kaesler that are leading names in the Barossa wine industry today are evidence of these early pioneers, and many are continuing today through several generations of the same family.
The wines were originally produced for religious and home use but it didn’t take long before they were being made commercially and by the start of the 20th Century wine was being exported back to England. The demand for fortified wine was huge and this coupled with the long journey on water, fortified wines dominated Barossa’s wine market right up until the end of the 1960s, but this would lead to a crisis that would set the industry into decline. As demand for fortified wines dried up, many growers were left unprofitable and the South Australian Government introduced the vine pull scheme, uprooting many of Barossa’s ancient vines during the 1980s. It took the efforts of some of the regions new faces of the time to bring the industry back by paying the growers above market value for their grapes, and saving the old vines that have become a hallmark of Barossa wine.
It is Barossa’s ancient vines that have shaped the region's style and reputation and the forward thinking attitude of the region's producers is one that is only beginning to filter through to the rest of the wine world. The winemakers of the 1980s helped to revive Barossa’s heritage, paving the way for the next generation of Barossa winemakers and this balance between heritage and progression has continued with an unparalleled energy through the region's newest and brightest stars of the 21st Century.
The Barossa Valley is warm and dry with low rainfall and low humidity, which can lead to a risk of drought during the growing season. It’s lower in altitude and is typified by gentle, rolling hills and valleys and is home to some of the world’s oldest clusters of vines, some of which are over 125 years old. These old vines are very low yielding and produce exceptionally concentrated fruit which is exploited by producers like Greenock Creek, Hobbs and Standish to make very rich and powerful wines that due to their concentration, often reach high levels of alcohol. Although several varieties are grown across Barossa, by far the most widely planted is Shiraz, producing rich, fruit forward wines. In the past, Barossa’s reputation has suffered from this rich style of wine, with consumers and producers favouring wines from cooler areas of Australia. However, a wave of smaller, artisan wineries began to pop up during the 1980’s and 1990’s and brought a resurgence to this region.
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