Part 21: 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?
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
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
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
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+
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+
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.
tasted October 2005
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