This paper investigates the dynamics of the Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) flow through the Romanche Fracture Zone (RFZ) in a primitive equation model with a high horizontal and vertical resolution. Two examples of flows over simple bathymetries show that a reduced gravity model captures the essential dynamics of the primitive equation model. The reduced gravity model is then used as a tool to identify what are the bathymetric structures (sills, narrows) that mostly constrain theAABW flow through the RFZ. When only these structures are represented in the primitive equation model, the AABW flow is shown to be coherent with observations (transports, density and velocity structures).