It was back in 1984 that the first grapes were picked for the inaugural vintage from Greenock Creek wines. Taken from 1960s shiraz plantings off their own Seppeltsfield Estate, that first wine was merely a start for this winery as it built an enviable reputation for wines with uniquely rich power and flavour. They were perfectly placed for the rise of Robert Parker with a series of 100 Point scores helping to propel what had been an under the radar producer into international stardom.
But times change and not just at the Estate. The world has seen an ever-increasing interest in lighter styles like Pinot Noir – just look at the explosion in Burgundy prices if you doubt it. Elegance and finesse have become more relevant to today’s drinkers. And just as in Burgundy, with its terroir-influenced emphasis on single sites, so too are winemakers all over the world taking the opportunity to reveal the glories of individual blocks and single vineyards.
The Barossa, of course, is never going to be known for delicacy, but that does not mean that their wines can’t exhibit balance and complexity. No one wants the Barossa to lose that which makes its best wines unique. Combined with the subtlety today’s winelovers are seeking, though, will ensure that the Greenock Creek releases will remain at the pinnacle of Australian red wines, all the while revealing the unique terroir that has always been the backbone of their stunning wines.
Tasting the new releases from Greenock Creek, this point is made clear with a suite of wines that tread a line between power and subtlety, past and future. For me, the wine which perfectly exhibits this is their Cornerstone Grenache, from the 2020 vintage, a wine of stunning value. Barossa Grenache will never be a shrinking violet, but here, the balance and finesse, the fragrances and the silkiest of tannins show a respectful nod to the style Greenock Creek is known for with a new restraint. A modern, exciting wine exhibiting both the inherent character of the Barossa and the new approach by winemakers Peter and Alex.
Retainingtheir strong focus on single-site, single-variety wines, the range has now expanded to the Moppa sub-region with the winemaking team of Alex Peel and Peter Atyeo working closely with Westlake Vineyards to explore the regional potential for Grenache, Shiraz and Cabernet, the first release of which is the 2019 Jaensch’s Block Shiraz. Of course, the Estate’s flagship wines, the Roennfeldt Road Cabernet Sauvignon and Roennfeldt Road Shiraz, will continue to offer the class and character which has made them such cult favourites.
Greenock Creek has long been a Barossa icon and this year’s releases reflect a concerted effort in refinement of a classic style, one ripe for discovery by a new generation of drinkers.
This 100% independent content was published with support from the winery.