I have tried Thai wines for the first time on a flight back to Thailand with Thai Airways 8 years ago. I had zero knowledge of wine back then. However, I still remember that I wasn’t very impressed. This time, the experience was completely different. I have tasted two good wines from Granmonte winery. Some of Granmonte wines have won several awards from international wine competitions. Their 2014 Orient Syrah is a gold medalist of the 2016 Syrah du Monde.
I am proud to witness outstanding work of Granmonte winery. The story of Thai wine just began over 20 years ago. The very first bottle went on sale in 1995. It is obviously not an easy task to make good quality wines in Thailand. Harvesting grapes twice a year and finding right clones to fit the tropical climate require investment, dedication and experimentations. I am thrilled to see the advancement of Thai wine industry.
The 2009 Orient Syrah, a medium-bodied and fairy simple wine with lovely aromas of dark fruits and spices. On the palate, bold tannins, clean flavor of black cherries with pepper and coffee overtones. The wine has a short finish. It is a well-balanced wine but lack of concentration and depth. I have found the wine interesting but not exciting. It is a good quality wine that entitles the recognition. However, I would expect it to deliver more unique characters that show its origin.
The 2014 Durif (Petite Sirah) is impressive. It is a lighter body of Durif which makes it drinkable at a young age. The wine has a good mouthfeel with aromas of blueberries and fig. On the palate, I tasted juicy plum with a hint of dark chocolate wrapped in smooth tannins. It is vibrant and more characterful than the Orient Syrah. The finish, however, is rather short. I was so happy that I could get my hands on this bottle because there are only 1 243 bottles produced.