wa2.gif (4241 bytes)

abut9.gif (3095 bytes)

abut12.gif (3207 bytes)
abut10.gif (3636 bytes)

abut11.gif (4039 bytes)


The New Barossa
Part 21: Greg Hobbs, revisited

Greg Hobbs is a bit of a dude. I’d met him before, on the previous year’s Barossa trip, and it was nice to catch up again to see how the wines were doing. It was a Sunday afternoon, and he’d just finished a long Sunday lunch with his family. A warm spring afternoon prompted a relaxed atmosphere, and we began with a gentle stroll through the vineyards.

There’s something about spring in a vineyard. The season hasn’t really begun, and just the first few signs of life are emerging. Thus, there’s an atmosphere of pregnant anticipation. What will this year’s crop bring?

Greg’s property is in an illustrious neighbourhood. Right nextdoor is Chris Ringland’s pad (pictured right), with his tiny Three Rivers vineyard, that produces what is perhaps, thanks to US collectors’ enthusiasm, Australia’s most expensive wine. We had a quick wander through this vineyard, before inspecting Greg’s almost identical vines a few yards away.

Since the last visit, Greg has repositioned his sweet wine range a little, making them in a richer style with more residual sugar (from 2005 vintage). His reds continue as before, with the hugely successful Old Vine Shiraz, and his Amarone-style Gregor Shiraz. Quality is top-notch: I was really impressed by these wines, which I reckon justify their relatively high prices. After trying the wines, we took advantage of the relaxed mood, chatting over a stubby. This is what Sunday afternoons are for.

Hobbs 2005 Old Vine Shiraz (cask sample)
Vivid red/purple colour. Intense, spicy, fruity nose. The palate is super-concentrated with wonderful, vivid spicy fruit. Lots of weight and intensity. Nice freshness to the fruit and good structure. Perhaps more red fruit than black with lots of potential. Very good/excellent 91–94/100

Hobbs 2004 Old Vine Shiraz (cask sample)
Fantastic nose with wonderful freshness to the spicy, earthy dark fruits. It’s quite aromatic. The palate is concentrated but expressive with lovely richness and good structure. Lots going on here. Although this will be over 16% alcohol, it holds it really well with great balance between the tannins, fruit and wood. 92–95/100

Hobbs 2003 Old Vine Shiraz
Inviting perfumed nose with a tarry spiciness to the red/black fruits. The palate is quite concentrated with nice balance to the fruit and good freshness. A really lovely expressive wine. Very good/excellent 94/100

Hobbs 2004 Gregor Shiraz (Amarone-style) cask sample
Wonderfully rich textured with a smooth character and good concentration. Complex red fruits with some spiciness. A very interesting wine. 92–94/100

Hobbs 2003 Gregor Shiraz (Amarone-style)
Sweet, open, herb-tinged red fruits on the nose. Sweet and beguiling. The palate is smooth and supple with an interesting herb-like sweetness. Soft finish. Very good/excellent 92/100

Hobbs 2004 Shiraz Viognier (cask sample)
Lovely smooth, sweet intense nose of pure, expressive red fruits. The palate is supple and concentrated with lovely red fruit character. Spicy finish. Nice structure and good acid. A really fantastic wine. Very good/excellent 93/100

Hobbs White Frontignac 2004 
120 g/l residual sugar; 10% alcohol. Very fresh, lemony nose with some sweetness and flowery character. The palate is sweet, fresh and a bit simple with nice bright fruit. Light and delicate. Very good+ 87/100

Hobbs Viognier 2004
120 g/l rs; 11% alcohol. Pretty, fresh and slightly herby with some complexity. The palate is soft and sweet with a nice freshness and some peachy, herby elements. Very good+ 88/100

Hobbs Semillon 2005 (tank sample)
245 g/l residual sugar; 8.5% alcohol. Sweet, herby, lemony nose. Lovely richness on the palate. Lush, full and sweet, with an interesting herby edge. Lots of weight. This needs time. Very good+ 89/100

Hobbs Grenache 2005 (tank sample)
Interesting herby, tea-like notes on the nose. The palate shows soft, concentrated, sweet fruit with a strawberry-like character. An interesting, unusual wine that may develop a lot of complexity with age. Sweet and luscious now.

Wines tasted October 2005

Back to top