Wine from Thailand: GranMonte 2011 Heritage Syrah

February 27, 2013


2011 Heritage Syrah by GranMonte Family Estate

My private situation is not conducive to blogging at all. And in fact I should take a complete break, I think at times. But then I just withdraw from my current world to escape into the illusions I have cultivated over the last weeks.

I needed to treat myself to something nice, and my choice was an obvious one, a ‘2011 GranMonte Heritage Syrah’ by GranMonte Estate in Khao Yai, Thailand.

I just love the dark red colour and the intense red berry aromas. The wine is elegant, and I very muchnenjoy the balance of tannins and spicy acidity. I did not give the wine a chance to improve with cellaring but might do this with one or two bottles at a later stage.


Spear ribs and morning glory

My girls had cooked dinner, spear ribbs with morning glory. The ribbs were marinated in an Asian plum sauce, and caramelized glazing was just delicious. The contrast with the morning glories was stricking, and the white rice “glued” it all together.

What a lovely family dinner this was. Thai wine and food with an Asian heritage.

Food and wine pairing

March 31, 2010

Beautiful scrimps in garlic and olive oil

In the hot weather of March and April big meals are not very attractive. Alas, Thailand has a lot of choice in seafood and lighter dishes are the go. Some rice with tofu and green vegetables and plenty of scrimps are the right stuff for a light meal. The question is which wine to drink with it?

A simple “Chinese set” meal

There is a lot of choice actually. As far as white wines are concerned one could choose a Chenin Blanc from Gran Monte, Thailand, for instance. Or one could have a Pinot Grigio from Italy or Germany. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are other possible choices.

If the dish is spicy, and the above one was, the ‘Grande Signature de Rapatel’ by Gérard Eyraud, France, a blend of Roussanne and Bourboulenc, is a great choice. The wine is oily and thick and full of apricot flavour. It balances the spicyness of the food in a wonderful way. I never thought that a Roussanne could be such a good complement to Asian food. My tip of the day: try it.

PS: You can get bottles of this wine in Bangkok from Lake House and Comte de Sibour.

What wine to drink in Bangkok’s hot season?

March 24, 2010

This is the time of the year when the thermometer shows already 32 degrees Celsius at 6:30 in the morning. In mid April it may reach 40-44 Celsius at noon. Alcoholic drinks are not ideal under such conditions. However, a glass of wine with lunch is still something desirable. So what to drink?

Well, my first choice is obviously white wine, maybe a rose, but the wine needs to be chilled. Gran Monte Estate, one of the nine Thai wineries, is located in the Khao Yai region, a two hours drive north of Bangkok, and offers both, white and rose.

Today I talk about their ‘2009 Spring Chenin Blanc’, a fresh and vibrant young wine, very well made with tropical fruit aromas. The grape variety is not my preferred choice when it comes to white wine but for the Gran Monte I make an exception. This Chenin Blanc is perfect for hot days and goes well with Italian and Asian dishes. The alcohol is 12.5% only which makes it also easy to drink in hot weather.

If you live in Thailand or visit Bangkok, try it out. It is worth the odd 500 Thai Bath you pay for the bottle if you purchase directly from the Gran Monte Bangkok shop.

PS: Gran Monte offers also a Syrah rose (the Sakuna rose) in a half bottle which I have tried as well. More about this wine another time.

Address in Bangkok:
Granmonte Co,Ltd.
17 / 8 Soi Sukhumvit 6, Sukhumvit Road,
Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110
Tel : 02-653-1522

Vineyards of Thailand Part 2: Gran Monte, Asoke Valley, Khao Yai

January 11, 2010

Gran Monte vineyards

I have visited Gran Monte located in the Asoke Valley in the Khai Yai area before. But this time we did not have an appointment with the boss, Mr. Visooth Lohitnavy, and a winery tour was out of the question. We played the innocent tourist, and walked right into the cellar door and tasted the new vintage.

Cellar door to the right, beautiful mountains ahead

The tasting room

2009 was a great year for Gran Monte. The winery won about 20 national and international awards for its “new latitude” wines, and is now firmly established as one of Thailand’s top producers easily matching international standards.

Wines on display in the tasting room

2009 Spring Chenin Blanc

Though Chenin Blanc is usually not “my variety”, I just loved the ‘2009 Spring Chenin Blanc’ which won a silver medal at the AWC Vienna International Wine Challenge 2009. It’s a very fresh wine with a beautiful bouquet, and a clean finish. I liked it much better than the ‘2009 Sole Unwooded Chenin Blanc’. The ‘2009 Sakuma Rose Syrah’ was not for tasting but we bought some bottles nonetheless. Finally, we bought a whole selection from different vintages, varieties and price ranges. More about the food and wine pairings and our experiences with Gran Monte wines will follow soon.

Newspaper reviews about Nikki Lohitnavy

The daughter of Visooth Lohitnavy, the managing director and CEO, is Nikki (or Visootha). She is the first female wine-maker in Thailand. With a degree in oenology from Adelaide, the young vintner is on a mission, and one can feel this when visiting Gran Monte. The 2009 vintage with its excellent whites shows her hand.

Gran Monte has a guest house and restaurant at the winery. The park around the house and the cellar door is very lovely too. When we visited the place was very busy, with many visitors dropping in, most of them Thai. Apart from wine, there are a wide range of local produce including creams and lotions available from the shop.

Gran Monte is definitely worth visiting when going on a winery tour in Thailand, a “must” so to say. There are many other interesting things to visit in the Asoke valley and its surroundings. Khao Yai is just a beautiful region.

GranMonte in Bangkok
Granmonte Co,Ltd.
17 / 8 Soi Sukhumvit 6, Sukhumvit Road,
Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110
Tel : +66-2-653-1522

GranMonte Vineyards and Wines at Asoke Valley, Khao Yai
52 Moo 9 Phayayen, Pakchong,
Nakornrachasima, Thailand
Tel : 081-923-200-7 , 084-904-194-4, 081-900-828-2 , 080-661-755-5

Saturday lunch: Irish lamb chop stew

June 20, 2009

For many Germans lamb is not their favourite meat but for Australians it is a kind of a staple. We had four lamb recipes to choose from and decided on an Irish lamb chop stew. The recipe came from Best Recipes where you can find it.

I show you what the stew looks like.


Five kinds of veggies as the base (potatoes, onions, carrots, broccolini and leeks).


The lamb chops with some ham.


All of the above in layers.


Until you reach the top.


Hm, yummy food. Even for a not so enthusiastic lamb lover such as me, the chops were just great.
The children gobbled it up in no time.

How about the wine, you might ask?


Well, I had no Cabernet Sauvignon left, therefore my ‘2006 Primavera Syrah’ from Gran Monte in Asoke Valley, Khao Yai, Thailand was the natural choice. This Thai wine is wonderful, spicy, peppery and with “umpf”, my favourite wine from Thailand. It went very well with the lamb chops.


But after this delicious meal, we were longing for something else, something homely, maybe Victoria? I grabbed the only bottle of ‘2006 Two Hills Merlot’, still unlabelled, which I have, ah, now had, a fruitbomb. I tell you this wine feels like biting into pure cherries. Incredible. I was glad I had not opened it with the lamb. It is a wine which stands on it’s own, so to say; ideal with cheeses, I would say.

It made all of us homesick in the most positive way one can imagine.

Soon we’ll be on the farm in Glenburn again.