Spicey Whitey from the Far East: Monsoon Valley Colombard 2553 B.E., Hua Hin Hills

Uuuuuhaaaaa! Thai Wine! For the first time on this blog! Well, let’s get it on ;-). 

The Monsoon Valley Winery is a part of the parent company called Siam Winery. Founded by Chalerm Yoovidhya, the actual creator of a worldwide known energy drink, Siam Winery is one of the oldest wineries in South-East-Asia (est. 1986). Their aim is to produce wines which can complement the flavours of typical (and possibly pretty spicy) Thai dishes. The actual location of the winery might take some time to get used to. It is situated approximately 200 km south of Bangkok close to the Royal Spa of Hua Hin. Right between jungle mountains and the ocean. Somehow weird! The women in charge is the Geisenheim graduate Kathrin Puff. With her knowledge and expertise the quality of the Monsoon Valley wines increased gradually over recent years. Today’s wine is produced from the Colombard grape. A classic varietal from Cognac and Armagnac region in the South-West of France. Normally this varietal isn’t considered to produce fine wine, but in this very southerly and sweltering region it shows a better potential. A slightly diffuse resemblance with Chenin Blanc is undeniable and actually factual (Heritage of Gouais Blanc x Chenin Blanc).
My very first impression in the nose was fresh green pepper, cantaloupe and some Thai basil. Loads of freshness and intriguing salty scents. The same happened in my mouth + some lime, a bit of lemon grass, some black pepper, sea salt and a hint of creaminess (approx.. 20% were aged in used oak). I got a rather crude, but very lively, fresh and vitalizing impression of this wine. It wasn`t charming or contrived! For sure not! It was spicy, rather hard, salty, slightly bitter, very dry and almost a bit violent (in a positive way – if there is a positive violence?). The alcohol was fine (13%). Maybe almost a bit strong. On the other hand this last impression might have been influenced by the rather unique style of Colombard (?). I definitely can imagine this wine along Thai food. A statement I don’t use that often, because normally I don’t see the necessity to combine any East Asian cuisines with wine. I guess the best combination might be with Khmer pepper (not chili) dishes, mildly drunken food from China or green tea based dishes from Yunnan. Over the last 5 to 10 years I had several Thai wines. I think my conclusion for today is: those guys, and of course gals, are getting better and better...
QPR in Europe is OK (approx. 10 Euros), in Thailand (a bit more than 10 Euros) it is very questionable.

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