Established in 1978, Greenock Creek is a tiny Barossa winery with a production level of only 2500 cases per year, owned by Michael and Annabel Waugh. These wines, fashioned from old, low-yielding vineyards, have accumulated quite a reputation. Greenock Creek Wines is situated at Seppeltsfield in the rolling hills between the hamlets of Greenock and Marananga, on the western edge of the Barossa Valley. The winery's first release was in 1988. The range of wines includes five Shiraz, two Cabernet Sauvignons and a Grenache, all processed at the winery on the Waugh’s Roennfeldt Road property.
This vineyard was planted in 1995 on an old apricot orchard which we removed from our Roennfeldt Road property at Marananga near Greenock. The vines crop at 1.2 to 1.5 tonnes per acres from the short rows, and 1.5 to 2.0 tonnes per acre on the long rows. The grapes are picked and kept separate to produce a single estate wine. As with all our grapes they are picked on phenological ripeness and flavour at a baume range of 14 to 16º. This baume sometimes produces a naturally occurring high alcohol, although this will depend on seasonal conditions.
The grapes are fermented in large, shallow open masonry fermenters, pumped over, chilled and pressed through a basket press. It is then racked into barrels to undergo natural MLF, keeping the free run and pressings separate to be blended back together prior to bottling. The wine is pumped into seasoned American hogsheads with a small percentage going into new oak barrels. It is then left to mature for approximately 27 months, and is usually not filtered or fined prior to bottling.
This rich, dark red wine has complex aromas of spice and fruit, plums, berries and a splash of dark chocolate with a lingering velvety finish.
TASTING NOTE (By Philip White)
Perhaps since it's had its usual trifle and even its crumbly/crunchy/doughy apricot strueselküchen suddenly pinched by Alices the Apricot Block just had to hunker down and say "Well here I am: your most accomplished and together member of the Greenock Creek family on the table this year." [Michael glowers.] "Oh sorry most accomplished and together in the row, so far." [Michael looks away.] This year, it's cocoa powder. It's more. Yep, it's dark bitter ValRhona cooking chocolate around a cherry gel. An Adults Only Cherry Ripe. Not such a complex business as some years, but maybe the easiest one for that wicked sesh you've been postponing. Hang on. There's roast dry chillies, too. Like that Mexican chilli and chocolate sauce. And the rind of Curaçao oranges. Bring it on. Interestingly, this Apricot Block lost interest in me after four days, indicating it's probably best consumed within a decade. Not too much to ask, surely?