Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Animals to Grapes: 1998 Rosabrook, Abattoir Block Shiraz

Animals to Grapes: 1998 Rosabrook, Abattoir Block Shiraz


I first drank the 1998 Rosabrook Estate, Abattoir Block Shiraz at ten years of age (Please see my post Inaugural Aussie hammers and Abattoir).  Around the same time I also drank the 1998 Maxwell, Grenache, McLaren Vale (Please see my post Six Aussies Including the Tasty 1998 Maxwell Grenache).  These were much different from the rich, ripe, and alcoholic Australian wines I often tasted.  I do remember taking the Rosabrook to Shane’s house for a blind tasting.  It was particularly earthy and meaty, people thought it was an Old World wine with most not liking it.  But we did.  From my emails I see that we bought more of each.  The common thread between these two wines is that they were imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  Twelve years ago Peter Weygandt imported both French and Australian wine with the later represented by twenty different wineries.  Today the portfolio is still heavy on the French wine but only one Australian winery is still on the list, that of The Gatekeeper.  So if you see his older wines in a store it might be worth the gamble.

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Rosabrook Estate was founded in 1980 with Simon Keall the winemaker for the wine featured in this post.  The early wines were produced using fruit from a 7 hectare vineyard planted with nine different varietals.  The cellar door was Margaret River’s first commercial abattoir built-in the 1930s.  The James Halliday Australian Wine Companion books list “Slaughterhouse Block” so “Abattoir Block” might have been the American name.  The winery relocated its vineyard in 2007 so this wine is no longer produced.  Last week there were three bottles of this wine left.  If you are at all curious then I would grab one right away.  It is still drinking really well and is ultimately a satisfying, flavorful drink.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

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1998 Rosabrook Estate, Abattoir Block Shiraz, Margaret River – $39
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is 100% Shiraz aged in both American and French oak.  Alcohol.  The color was a medium garnet-cherry which shows its age.  The nose was a little scented with spices, roast, red, and blue fruits.  In the mouth there was still a core of ripe red and blue fruit.  It mixed with woodbox flavors which were perfectly balanced by the acidity.  There were spices, a hint of tobacco, and a little smoke which nicely set off the blue/black fruit.  It eventually revealed meaty flavors with air and a little, tangy orange citrus.  It maintained its acidity throughout.  *** Now-2018.

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