Durif from Rutherglen Estates at Songkran in Bangkok

April 13, 2013

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Rutherglen Estates 2008 Durif

It is the Thai New Year, called Songkran, the water festival. In down town Bangkok the mob is celebrating, dancing, and splashing people with water, a cleansing ritual and a good omen.

Instead of mingling with the crowd, we are enjoying some beautiful red wine on our terrace. From Wine Connection in Thonglor I got a bottle of ‘2008 Durif Single Vineyard’ by Rutherglen Estates, one of the largest wine and grape producers in the region (more than 300 ha under vines).

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2008 Single Vineyard Durif

The wine is big with 14.5% alcohol. It has not much of a nose. The first sip comes as a bit of a shock, sucking your mouth dry like a vacuum cleaner. The second mouth full is already better, and then you are sailing. Some red fruit, some vanilla from the oak. Pleasant and satisfying, a warm climate red whispering in your ear the hot air of the northern Victorian sun.

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Bavaria Blue

We had some Bavaria Blue cheese from Bergader Creamery with it. This is my favourite Bavarian cheese, and not only because I worked as a young man on a dairy farm in Petting which delivered its milk to that company.

Every time I am in Germany I bring some of this cheese with me. It is super delicious. And the red wine from Rutherglen was just the right complement, a perfect match so to say to the strong and hearty cheese.

More such glorious days can come, with wine and some good food.

Happy Thai New Year to all of you.


TerraMater – Sauvignon Blanc from Chile

February 18, 2013

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2011 TerraMater Sauvignon Blanc

It was a hot Sunday in Bangkok, and I was longing for a fresh and refreshing wine. I went on a wine shopping tour to our local Wine Connection shop in Thonglor, just a 15 minutes walk away from my home.

I browsed through the shelves and found a few white wines which matched my desire. One of them was a Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, a ‘2011 TerraMater Premium Vineyard SB’.

This is a very solid wine, with pleasant aromas, lovely acidity and a reasonable finish. I also loved the golden colour of the wine. For a mass produced wine in this low price segment, this wine is value for money. I can only recommend it.

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2011 Sauvignon Blanc Premium Vinyard Wines by TerraMater

TerraMater is based on a family wine business going back to the 1930s. But in 1996 the three Canepa sisters (Gilda, Edda and Antonieta) reinvigorated their family enterprise through the construction of a new winery and the restructuring of their production portfolio.

The visit of the company website makes you anxious for the premium range of TerraMater wines, especially the Carmenere and other reds. I wonder if Wine Connection does import some of them to Thailand. TerraMater also produce olive oil and apples.

I was very pleased with my choice. Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favourite whites anyway, and the Terra Mater SB from Chile fully satisfied my wine drinkers desires.


Wine from France: 2011 Carignan Vieilles Vignes by De Chansac, France

December 5, 2012

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Beautiful colour of the Carignan Old Vines by De Chansac

The other day I bought some wine at wine connection in Bangkok. On special was some wine from France. Frankly speaking I do not buy much French wine these days.

Today, I opened one of the bottles, a ‘2011 Carignan Old Vines’ by De Chansac Winery in l’Herault, a French wine region.

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2011 Carignan Old Vines by De Chansac

The wine is made from 40 years old Carignan vines. The grape variety, originating from Aragon in Spain, is usually used in blends (in the wines from Rioja for instance) as a colouring component. It’s average yield is very high (11 t/acre).

Varietal wines are the exception rather than the rule. I assume that 40 year old vines have much lower yields and therefore it is worth making a varietal wine such as this one by De Chansac.

The wine has a dark red, almost purple colour. The alcohol content is 12.5% only. The dominant aroma is blackberry. The wine is full bodied, fruity, round, soft, almost velvety.

And did you see in the picture above? Even the French come around to screw caps these days. I was so surprised.

Of course we had the wine with some food. The pasta (below) was delicious and the wine went very well with the intensive aromas of the all amatriciana. I buy this wine again.

Matriciana

All Amatriciana