Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Inaugural Aussie hammers and Abattoir

Inaugural Aussie hammers and Abattoir


I drank a lot of Australian wine a year or so ago but much less this year. It could be that I found the 2004s to drink well on release and prefer my 2005 and 2006s with some age. I only had one Maxwell wine before, the 2004 Ellen Street Shiraz which my wife and I really liked so I was eager to try the Silver Hammer. The Winner’s Tank Velvet Sledgehammer was mentioned in the Garagiste thread but I thought I’d include my note; it is tasty but more loose and flamboyant. The Rosabrook was reviewed on the board a year ago and is still drinking well. I drank one earlier this year at the normal price then bought a few more at MacArthur’s Aussie sale. In order of preference: Rosabrook, Maxwell, Winner’s Tank.

2005 Maxwell, Silver Hammer, Shiraz, McLaren Vale – ~$30
This is the inaugural vintage of the Silver Hammer. The medium-dark color is red with purple. There are blue fruits on the light, young nose. In the mouth there are blue and dark fruits and a bit of minerals. There is ripeness and roundness to the fruit, but it comes across as balanced. There are very fine tannins in the aftertaste. It is drinkable now but I’d give it a few more years in the cellar. As a point of reference, I drank this alongside the 2006 De Lisio, Quarterback. The Quarterback came across as having more blue/red fruit, a bit sour in tilt, and less definition.

2006 Winner’s Tank, Velvet Sledgehammer, Langhorne Creek – $20-$25?
This too is the first vintage of the Velvet Sledgehammer. It is aged in 35% new French barriques for 16 months. It comes from specific parcels within the same vineyard used for the regular Shiraz. It is a rather opaque ruby-purple color. There is a light nose of roast, red berries, and raspberry. There is immediate, rich, mouthful of flavors that echo the nose. The wine is not quite creamy but rather a softness that picks up ultra-fine tannins. I think it is preferable to wait a few years on this one.

1998 Rosabrook Estate, Abattoir Block, Shiraz, Margaret River – $32
A medium-opaque garnet in the glass. A fresh nose of wooden box and red fruit. In the mouth there are immediate, round, mouthfilling mature/earthy flavors with some mintiness. There is good acidity, and a fine, thorough finish that is still tannic. This wine is tasty, easy to drink (I sucked down the bottle), and has life left in it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: