Wines have been produced in Thailand since the early 1990s. Naturally the main vineyards are in the cooler north of the country, in Pichit Province and Khao Yai. The southernmost vineyards are near Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. Since then more than decent labels of Thai wines have been garnering attention on the world stage.
Recently James and Jack Suckling, owners of the internationally acclaimed wine rating website JamesSuckling.com, selected Monsoon Valley Shiraz Thailand White 2017 as “Best of Show” at the third annual Best Rosé in Thailand 2018 competition hosted by The Nai Harn Phuket.
The locally produced rosé bested almost 100 wines from around the world in a blind tasting. The critics placed it at the top of a list that included prestigious French wines such as Château Routas Coteaux Varois en Provence 2017, whose Routas 2016 won last year’s competition, and Caves d’Esclans Côtes de Provence Whispering Angel Rosé 2017.
“I loved the balance and energy of the Monsoon Valley White Shiraz,” said James Suckling. “The tasting was completely blind and we judged the wine for its brightness and quality.”
The 2017 Monsoon Valley White Shiraz also received the award for Best Value, while the Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Rosé NV received the Best of Show award in the sparkling section of the competition.
“The Thai wine industry is just coming into its own with a handful of wineries making outstanding bottles,” explained Jack Suckling. “The tropical climate is difficult for viticulture, necessitating constant management and nurturing. Experimentation is still the norm with winemakers looking for the correct methodology and grape types to emphasize quality.”
Monsoon Valley operates three vineyards, with Hua Hin Hills Vineyard the largest one, covering 110 hectares, located at the foot of the mountains, near the Gulf of Thailand. The other two are in Chiang Mai and Tab Kwang to the north of the country.
The Best Rosé in Thailand competition is part of The Nai Harn Phuket Resort’s world class wine program, which includes a bespoke wine list created by the team at JamesSuckling.com. The 150 wines on the list are arranged based on their usage, style and personality.
“It’s a wine lover’s list with excellent value and drinkability no matter the place or type of food,” says James Suckling. It also includes a “rock star” section with top wines by the glass served by Coravin, such as Château Montrose 2005.
After two days of intense tasting, all the best rosé wines and their suppliers received special recognition at a gala event and awards ceremony hosted by The Nai Harn at Reflections Rooftop Lounge, where guests had a tasting of all the rosés in the competition, accompanied by gourmet snacks.
“Rosé wines are the ideal choice for Phuket’s tropical climate and we are delighted to partner with James and Jack to highlight the best in the world,” said Frank Grassmann, General Manager of The Nai Harn. “Our ongoing collaboration with JamesSuckling.com matches our goal to offer the very best cuisine and finest drinks to our guests, from Thailand and around the world,” he added.