2011 Asoke by Gran Monte Winery, Thailand

January 27, 2013

Asoke 1

2011 Asoke Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah by Gran Monte

As you can see from the two pictures above and below, the newest vintage of the flagship wine of Gran Monte Family Estate, had no label as yet when I tasted this wine a few days ago.

The 2011 Asoke, a blend of about 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Syrah, is a ripper of a wine, maybe the best red, Thailand’s vineyards have to offer.

The previous vintage, the ‘2009 Asoke’ has won many medals, two gold, three silver and three bronze medals, at international wine shows in Europe and in Asia.

Asoke 2

What a beautiful colour

The 2011 vintage of the Asoke has so far won a bronze medal, but I am confident that this young wine has a great potential and will win more awards when it has settled and aged a little.

It has lots of dark fruit flavour, blackberry to me. The tannins are still a bit astringent but will mellow with time. As the previous vintage, I guess it has spent some time in new oak. It is a very pleasant wine, strong and powerful, the best red I had in a long time.

The wine-maker is Nikki Lohitnavy, the young and talented and already well known vintner of Gran Monte Estate. Nikki is getting better every vintage. In a few years time her wines will be collectors items, I guess.

Asoke pasta

We had the wine with a meal, of course. It was not red meat with which this wine would harmonize Extremely well. Instead it was a pasta cooked by my daugther Charlotte (our resident cook, my wife Margit, is absent for a while). She is a very good apprentice, and the pasta was superb.

Asoke cooks

Charlotte (left) and her twin sister Lucy

Needless to say that this simple meal with the excellent wine from Gran Monte, made a wonderful father and daughter event.

My suggestion to wine lovers in Thailand: secure a couple of bottles of this wine, put them down in a good wine fridge, and enjoy one after the other with or without food, at special and ordinary occasions, and when you want to show off. This is the thing.

The upcoming harvest festival at Gran Monte Estate, on February 2 and 3, will give you a unique opportunity to learn more about Gran Monte wines, the vineyards and the wine-maker. You should book now and/or visit Khao Yai at your own pleasure. It is worth it.

PS: While writing this on my terrace, I am drinking another one of the great Gran Monte wines, the 2012 Viognier, a beauty of a single vineyard, single variety wine.


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
Marketing@granmonte.com