Friday, May 28, 2010

A First & Last Abbey Rock?

After a hectic couple of weeks on the wine and social scene, I'm hoping to settle down for a bit and chill out at home. Maybe that will allow me a bit of a chance to keep up with the bottle count. Simple and easy - sounds good to me.

460. 2004 Abbey Rock Helmsford Shiraz/Grenache (Clare Valley - Australia)

I'm not really sure how we ended up with this bottle. I think I might have actually won it in a draw at an Australia Wine Appreciation tasting. As such, I can't say that I knew anything about this winery before we opened the bottle - and, I'm sorry to say but, I don't really know much more after the fact. There isn't much information on the internet despite the fact that all sorts of hits for selling the wine pop up. The website for the actual winery itself doesn't appear to be active any more.

I saw that Abbey Rock was established in 2001 and, at its peak, was producing 30,000 cases that included wines made with grapes sourced from a number of regions in South Australia. It might be a case of too much expansion, too quickly, however, as the almost doubling of production over a short number of years seems to have resulted in the winery being placed in "voluntary administration" and the assets being put up for sale in 2008. I didn't see any further updates of what might have happened after that.

As for the bottle at hand, it's interesting that I grabbed a Shiraz/Grenache. Seems like we've been drinking a lot of Rhone varietals and blends of late - whether they're from the Rhone or not. Clare Valley is a region located slightly north of Adelaide and is known for being able to take advantage of its higher altitude and cooler nights. The region is particularly known for its Rieslings, but being Australia, the ability to grow red varietals isn't really in question.

I love my Aussie reds but this wasn't particularly memorable. I don't know that I would have run out to buy another bottle of the same. That's likely a moot point though, if, indeed, the winery has been sold and is no more. On second thought, however, if other folks reacted the same way I did, that probably played a part in the winery's business woes.

Sounds like this might be the only Abbey Rock wine to make The List though.

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