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The wines of Greenock Creek, Barossa Valley, Australia

Radford Road, Seppeltsfield, SA 5360, Australia
Phone: (08) 8562 8103 Fax: (08) 8562 8259
UK agent: Thorman Hunt (

Established in 1978, Greenock Creek is a tiny 'boutique' 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, and so I was quite keen to try them for the first time. It proved to be a bit of a disappointment, given my high expectations. They are made in a rich, concentrated, extracted style, which I don't think works particularly well in this tricky 1999 Barossa vintage. Why? Well, they just seem to lack balance. There's lots of everything here, but no real synergy. You have to hope that with a decade in the bottle they will come together and harmonise, but there's no guarantee this will happen. I dislike giving a somewhat negative report on the basis of limited data, so I will confine my verdict just to these three wines in this vintage, and not on Greenock Creek's output generally. And I'll look out for a chance to try some of the Greenock Creek line-up again but from a more successful year. As a price guide, expect to pay 25-30 a pop.

Greenock Creek 'Apricot Block' Shiraz 1999
A deep, concentrated red/black colour. There's a lush intensity to the nose, which is rich with a touch of spice. The palate is hugely concentrated, showing prominent alcohol and some tannin too, underlying the lush fruit. Richly structured, this is a big wine but not terribly in balance at the moment. Perhaps this will come with time? Very good+

Greenock Creek 'Seven Acres' Shiraz 1999
A very deep red/black colour, showing massive concentration. A rich extracted style. The alcohol is poking out slightly awkwardly from the lush, rich fruit. Some structure, too. Very good+

Greenock Creek 'Creek Block' Shiraz 1999
Another dark, concentrated wine. There's some appealing spicy complexity to the nose that promises great things, but what's happening the palate? It's massively concentrated with lots of liquoricey fruit, but there's a bizarre bitter, salty edge along with some spiky alcohol sticking out. Very awkward and quite disjointed. Will this come together? Good/very good

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