The HobNob Wicked Red is an unusual blend of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Pinot Noir sourced from vineyards in the Languedoc in the south of France. There are 3 levels of wine in France, the top level is AOC (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone Valley, etc), the 2nd is IGP (used to be known as Vin de Pays, these are wines that do not conform to AOC regulations, but are recognized as being from a particular growing area and the last is Vin de France (formerly Vin de Table) meaning it is an every day wine with few regulations to adhere to, the HobNob is a IGP wine. HobNob is one of Georges Duboeuf’s labels, you may recognize the name from bottles of Beaujolais. HobNob is a brand intended to make buying French easy, you don’t have to figure out which Chateau in which AOC made the best affordable wine, just pick up one the their bottles (this should be priced at $10-$11) and you get a taste of Southern France. The alcohol content is 13%.
The color is raspberry red with dark purple highlights and an almost clear rim. The nose is very fruity, plums and red berries with a hint of cream and a touch of spice. This is a fruit forward wine with a hit of spice on the backend. It tastes of very ripe blackberry, slightly sweet licorice, some Nestle’s Quik powder, cold coffee and Christmas spice. This is a somewhat uncomplicated, but tasty wine. The tannins and the acidity are not part of the flavor profile. The finish is the same as the body of the wine, but disappears a little too soon.
The 2011 HobNob Wicked Red is a good tasting tuesday night wine, but it tastes more like an inexpensive Red blend from Washington State, than something from the south of France. You can get honest to goodness Rhone Valley or Languedoc Red blends in this price range and real Washington State red blends for a buck or 2 less. The HobNob Wicked Red is an easy to drink, rich, juicy, around ten buck wine that you don’t have to be a wine geek to understand.