wa2.gif (4241 bytes)

abut9.gif (3095 bytes)

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

abut11.gif (4039 bytes)


The New Barossa
Part 7: Greg Hobbs

When I meet him, Greg Hobbs is limping. His ankle is in plaster – an accident on the squash court. In the introduction to this series, I mentioned how the Barossa benefits from not having too many lifestylers. If you were being mean, you could describe Greg as a lifestyler: he came to wine late after a previous life as a policeman in an anti-terrorist unit in Adelaide, and then a fireman. In 1996 he (perhaps unknowingly) made the shrewd decision to buy the property next door to Chris Ringland, whose wines now fetch silly money. His first wines were made in 1998 – just half a ton of Shiraz. Then in 1999 he made the same quantity. US importer Dan Phillips tasted and offered to buy the lot. In 2003 Greg finally stopped selling grapes to others, and decided to use all his own grapes himself.

The wines are very impressive indeed, across the board. While the old vine Shiraz hogs the limelight, and justifiably so, I was probably more fascinated by the fantastic Amarone wines. These are dried on racks, Italian style, a production method that has also been extended to include a range of sweet whites.

Tasting through the wines with Greg, I get the impression he is very proud of his wines – and he has every right to be. Producing such an interesting range of wines like these, he’s certainly not just a ‘lifestyler’.

Hobbs Shiraz Viognier 2004 (barrel sample)
Made from 8 year old vines, with 4% Viognier. Vivid colour. Quite perfumed, with clean, pure fruit. The palate is fresh, pure and shows elegant fruit. A very promising wine with lots going on. 90+/100

Hobbs Old Vine Shiraz 2004 (barrel sample)
Aged in new French oak. Very ripe, sweet fruit on the nose. The palate shows a huge concentration, but still possesses some elegance with spicy, tarry oak and plenty of flavour. A complex wine that’s full of promise. 92–95/100

Hobbs Old Vine Shiraz 2003
Aged in new French oak. Complex, rich spicy nose is vivid and full. There’s a slight meatiness under the multilayered fruit. The palate is very rich and concentrated: full and spicy with lots of structure and good acidity. There’s some new oak evident. Coming together very nicely with intense, vivid fruit. A big wine but it’s in balance. 92–94/100


Hobbs Old Vine Shiraz 2002
Aged in a mix of new and old French oak. Very classy nose: rich, vivid fruit with a savoury, spicy, oaky edge and a hint of meatiness. Refined. The palate is concentrated and rich with a lovely savoury, spicy underlay to the fruit. Intense with good acidity. Nice definition here: big and rich, but classy and with potential for future improvement. Very good/excellent 93/100

Hobbs Old Vine Shiraz 2001
Slightly shy nose, with some subtle, minty, cedary, menthol overtones. Lovely rich concentrated palate shows taut, savoury, spicy fruit with lovely structure and acidity. Very refined with a wonderful structure and a fine, spicy finish. A serious, classy wine. Very good/excellent 94/100

Hobbs Amarone 2003 (cask sample)
Knockout nose: sweet, ripe, herbal with blackberry fruit. The palate is open with seamless sweet fruit and good acid. Quite sensational with lovely complexity and a sweet finish. 92–94/100

Hobbs Amarone 2002
There’s a savoury streak to the dark fruits, with a smooth creamy edge. The palate is rich with pure elegant fruit. Smooth and intense; still quite savoury. This will be the first release. Very good/excellent 93/100

Greg also makes a range of sweet whites, which are semi-dried and then undergo the normal winemaking process: they aren’t fortified.

Hobbs Viognier 2004
Still fermenting, but showing lovely grapey, peachey palate and good balancing acid.

Hobbs Frontignac 2004
Very pretty perfumed, aromatic, grapey nose. The palate is rich with high acidity and nice freshness balancing the sweetness

Hobbs Frontignac 2003
Sweet grapey nose leads to a nice grapey palate with herbal, tea-leaf complexity. Nutty, with good acid. Very good+ 88/100

Hobbs Semillon 2003
Herby, savoury, nutty nose with some appley fruit. The palate is rich and sweet with a nice herbal complexity. Tasty stuff. Very good+ 89/100

Hobbs Viognier 2003
Deep colour. Herbal, nutty tea-leaf edge to the nose, which has some appley, peachy fruit. The palate is lively with good sweetness and high acidity. Nutty and intense. Very good+ 89/100

Hobbs Grenache 2003
Semi-dried, again. Sweet ripe berry fruit nose, with some raspberry and blackcurrant character. The palate shows lovely vivid, pure fruit with some sweetness. Really interesting stuff with lovely fruit quality. Very good/excellent 91/100

wines available in the UK from The Cellar Door and Bordeaux Index

Back to top