Two Paddocks, striking gold in former goldmine

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When we began searching for a Central Otago Pinot Noir six years ago, the label of Two Paddocks immediately struck us, but it was the very restrained and classical style that was love at first sight. Even Francophiles might be tempted to try what Lisa Perotti-Brown, Master of Wine, calls “a very natural, almost leafy style of Pinot Noir”.

The fact that Hollywood actor Sam Neill is behind one of the most recognized names from Central Otago helps of course, but it is their philosophy in the vineyard which resonates most. Sam says his viticulturist Mike Wing is the most important person in the estate and the two have been busy searching for new plots, with the last purchase in Bannockburn, at the end of Felton Road, an area in stature similar to Vosne Romanee in the Cote de Nuits.  This vineyard now produces fruit for the Estate blend, and also the limited reserve named “Fusilier”, referring to Sam’s grandfather, who was a Wine Merchant and Soldier.

2016 Two Paddocks Media

Sam explains the estate is “committed to an organic and holistic farming model that we believe produces the very best expression of our sites and intrinsically cares for our soils, our animals and our people.” Vintage to vintage they continue to move ahead of the pack. Today we propose the winery’s main wine, please enjoy and let us know!

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Two Paddocks Pinot Noir Estate 2016, Central Otago

“A blend of the Bannockburn, Earnscleugh and Gibbston vineyards. This leads with ripe sweet cherry-berry fruit aromas ahead of a spicy and meaty background. Plenty of youthful appeal. The palate is succulent and packed with vibrant flesh, attractive red cherry fruit and plenty of lithe, juicy tannins.” James Suckling 92 points

Larry Cherubino, Margaret River

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Acclaimed winemaker Virginia Wilcox of Vasse Felix assesses “Most great Cabernet in the world is grown with a maritime influence, close to the sea where you have that breeze. But Margaret River also has a Mediterranean climate where we have that warm dry summer and a beautiful long dry season. We’re not under pressure to harvest our grapes early because of rain, because of disease, because of rot; all the things that winemakers are under pressure to harvest for. The beautiful sea breeze is what buys us weeks of ripening. It keeps the berries in tact and means they come in as a perfect round berry without any shrivel, without any issues, so you end up with a beautiful soft tannin ripened until the end of the season where the tannin profile is perfect”. Hence experts and collectors rank Western Australia’s Cabernet Sauvignon among the top echelon with Bordeaux, Napa, Bolgheri, Maipo Valley and even maybe Waiheke Island.

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Larry Cherubino first cut his teeth with Houghton in the corporate environment, before embarking on his own. The region of Frankland is where is heart is, about 300km inland from the coast, a lesser known region, allowing for a darker inkier wine than famous Margaret River. From the small beginnings this dynamo amassed over 120 hectares and makes an abundance of wine styles and ranges. One can say he is one of the most acclaimed winemakers in Australia today.

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It is not by chance that his wines rank with the best in value and top prizes. According to the The Sydney Morning Herald “The ratings don’t lie… 20 of his 27 wines tasted for Halliday’s 2016 Wine Companion received the ‘value’ symbol, signifying wines of extremely high value for their price, while 12 were rated between 95 and 98 points. Extraordinary.”

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His Pedestal range intends to offer upfront fruit, set in nice frame with some wood and soft tannin. Despite being one of the greatest values out of Western Australia, you can cellar this wine up to ten years.

We urge you to enjoy it with your next steak – grilled or smoked; a classical Cabernet Merlot with telltale perfume of blackcurrant, aroma of cedar, chocolate and bay leaf.

94 Points – James Halliday’s Wine Companion

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Petit Manseng, one of the greatest sweet wine varietals

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The Southwest of France is a treasure trove for some of the most interesting wines. Often made by producers who have to work harder than elsewhere, the difficult to remember appellations and varietals offer great value for everyday drinking.

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The Jurançon region, at the foothills of the Pyrenees, is a tiny 13 square kilometers with only 1,200 hectares under vine. Farmers here plant mainly Petit and Gros Manseng, of which close to 70% is sweet wine.

In its sweet form the Petit Manseng is a force at the dining table. Intense with sappy acidity, its fruit profile ranges from orange peel, apricot, pineapple, to passion fruit and even ginger. A late harvest wine like Cuvee Jean has  about 72 grams per liter; but then there are also more unctuous bottlings made from shriveled grapes (passerillage).

This versatile wine will pair well with any salty like an ewe cheese, duck liver with sweet compote, or dessert with tropical fruits found in Thailand including pineapple and passion fruit. On a hot day, just sip on it alone.

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This late harvest wine shows both intense acidity and intense richness. Honey, perfumed lemon and ripe apple notes come together.” Wine Enthusiast 91p

 

Organic Chardonnay from Limoux

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The Languedoc region is vast, and we tend to forget the pockets of cooler climes such as Limoux, a region whose bottled-fermented sparkling precedes even fine Champagne.

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It appears that viticulteurs here have been silently working one some fine Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wines that are sold all over France, but almost unheard of in the export markets. Etienne Fort, an organic grower with vistas of the Pyrenees, is the type of friend Thomas Pico could rely on helping him get out of the dire situation in 2016.

 

Typical to the Pico style, the key element in his Limoux rendition is balance and a sensuous palate feel. This is a far cry from the ubiquitous Chardonnay, which wine lovers created ABC for (Anything But Chardonnay, but mind you, even this acronym is less heard of today.)

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“Perhaps it’s the power of suggestion and having the phrase ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ in mind, but the aromas are all lemon zest and stone fruits. You don’t get that layer of seashell and mineral tone that comes from Chablis famous Kimmeridgian limestone soils, but the cool windswept region of Limoux does provide a bright acidity that one wouldn’t expect from the Languedoc. Lots of roundness on the palate from minimal filtration, and the absence of oak allow the bright character to show through as vigorously as possible. While this isn’t a wine to make you forget about Chablis, it definitely shows a Chablis maker’s hand was used to craft it, and will help to scratch the itches due to come up over the next few years when wines of this price and quality will be so hard to find.” Wine Warehouse Inc.

Coche Dury, perhaps the finest white wine in the world

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There is a place, somewhere off the beaten path, which we are unable to divulge. This restaurant is owned by a chef and avid wine collector, who for many years traveled to Burgundy and Champagne to find vinous jewels. This is where I first came across a Coche Dury, and realized there is no other wine like it, and also conclude no other restaurant will offer at this price.

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It is positive that long-time buyers are offered reasonable ex-cellar prices, which we newbies are not. Despite the difference, we remain upbeat for this brightly shining village Meursault, as the stellar 2015 is already trading at a higher prices in Hong Kong and New York.

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Below is a good description of this fine Burgundy producer by Steen Öhman, the editor, writer and owner of Winehog.org, a blog which was launched in 2011 and is a site focused solely on the wines of Burgundy. Please allow me to quote him:

What is so special about Coche-Dury

Coche-Dury has almost legendary status among wine connoisseurs, and rightly so. His wines are something special, and he almost have the same status as Henri Jayer, who was quite unique in Vosne Romanee.

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Coche-Dury – bouquet and taste

Coche-Dury are very expressive wines that really jumps from the glass. It is not subtle or for that matter aristocratic wines, no they are quite flamboyant wines of almost incredibly high quality.

The first thing you notice is the assertive bouquet of gun powder and hints of popcorn – which can be very distinctive when the wines are young. They also have quite a considerable note of new oak, which together with the various nuances of the Chardonnay grape gives a complex and challenging nose.

On the palate the wines has very fine textures and freshness that comes from both the soil and the fine acidity structure. The wines are never overripe, but retain their suppleness and finesse. There is a pronounced Coche style, but this does not prevent the individual vineyards terroir to shine through. They are terroir wines but have a quite distinctive style that characterizes all the wines from the domaine.

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Why does Domaine J.-F. Coche-Dury make better wine?

A large part of the explanation for the high quality is most likely found in the vineyards, where a thorough work combined with very old vines in several vineyards yield some special wines. He manages to make wines that are both fresh and resilient although the concentration is quite high, something very few manufacturers are able to match.

Coche-Dury are, of course, also very skilled in the cellar, but I think it is in the vineyards he makes the big difference, which is probably one of the reasons that nobody has been able to copy his style and qualities.”

For the full article read here.

 

Wines with roots deep into nature

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wonderfruit imageFor this ever improving music, art and food festival in Pattaya, we select some squeaky pure wines from our winemaking partners, who farm without chemicals and make wines by….not really doing much! The buzzword du jour is low intervention wines.

We are excited to pour a few Jauma wines that are unlike many natural wines: extremely easy to enjoy outdoor, where perhaps glasses and temperatures aren’t ideal. They expressive and bright, have nuanced flavors that enable you to appreciate aromas as they enfold.

SONY DSCIf you have to drink Champagne, then at least drink one that is from a Grand Cru village and organic for over 30 years, such as Andre Beaufort’s. The living soils make a wine that is dense, crystalline, with mineral flavors and structure. Disgorged about 2 years ago, this Brut Reserve is now blossoming.

There is wine, there is rock n roll, and there is music in a bottle from Ochota Barrels. Tara and Amber make the Slint Chardonnay coming from a cool spot up on the Adelaide Hills. Tightly wound, razor-sharp style of Chardonnay and gentle tingling on the tongue.

Most chefs at Wonderfruit will prepare Thai or Asian accentuated meals. The whites that work well with these are skin-contact wines with their spiced-tinged aroma and subtle oily texture. Claus Preisinger’s Kalkundkiesel isn’t an orange wine, as it lacks the structure and phenolics, but it certainly has vibe and kick to make you crave for more when downing delicious meals outdoors.

We have a few more wines available, but you get the style we aim to present. Make sure to check out the chef line up here.

Domaine Robert Denogent, Maconnais

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To quote from legendary U.S. wine importer Kermit Lynch “I consider the whites of the region, Macon, Saint Veran, and Pouilly Fuisse, to be proper white Burgundies. Here we have similar soils, the grape is Chardonnay, and the difference between the appellations are no more than passionately interesting questions of personality. Deciding whether to serve a Macon blanc or a Meursault is not a question of which is the best wine. It is an exercise in forming the most appropriate alliance between the wine and the plate it will accompany, or the environment in which it will be served.”

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He continues “Macon blanc should be light-bodied, never above 12 percent alcohol, St Veran is rounder than Macon Blanc, but simpler than Pouilly Fuisse. It will tolerate a bit of new oak.” These paragraphs are from his book Adventures on the wine route, published in 1988. Of course the world today as well as the wine isn’t how it was back then. Kermit Lynch later became the importer of Robert Denogent, and the estate’s ambitions and hard work paid off,  so that the family’s reputation resonates more to  “These are wines of a much different class, whose reflection of terroir is one more likely found farther north in the prestigious Côte d’Or.” according to Kermit.

We suggest you try this old St Veran, which appears to be the most mineral, and decide later, if you are interested in the Macon Les Sardines, potentially sublime house Burgundy with texture, spice and honeysuckle, or in one of the two Pouilly Fuisse cuvees based on 60-80 year old vines from blue schist or clay limestone soils.

Neil Martin for Robert Parker writes “The wines from Domaine Robert Denogent are distinctive, beautifully crafted and manage to express their terroir with great clarity. You might assume that the extended time in barrel might dominate the style of the cuvées, perhaps erase some of the nuances of terroir, but they do not impede at all. The 2014 Saint Veran Les Pommards Vieilles Vignes offers fragrant scents of yellow flowers, mirabelle and cold granite on the nose: very well defined and gaining intensity all the time in the glass. The palate is very well balanced with a touch of apricot on the entry, extremely well judged acidity and a nonchalant, harmonious finish with hints of grapefruit and yellow plum. This is simply delicious. 91 points”

Wine workshop at Another Story, Nov 24th

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WG Enchanted Wines Workshop Nov 24 2018

The wine region of Baden includes swaths of vineyards adjacent to the picturesque Black Forest natural park. In addition, the warmest of Germany’s wine regions is also known for the volcanic Kaisterstuhl and the Markgraflerland in the triangle between Germany, Basel in Switzerland and Alsace in France.

For the enchanted wine workshop we will be presenting the following bottles:

Ziereisen Pinot Blanc Lugle 2014

Enderle & Moll Muller Thurgau (skin contact) 2016

Enderle & Moll Pinot Noir Rose 2016

Ziereisen Pinot Noir Talrain 2015

Ziereisen Syrah Gestad 2013

To reserve one of the 12 seats please email anotherstory@themall.co.th

Paella battle on Toro’s patio, Nov 10th

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Come chill out and enjoy a fun evening with the two chefs, the crew from Toro and our casually easy drinking wines from Spain.

Ca N’Estruc Blanco is a refreshing and aromatic blend of Xarello with Muscat from vineyards close to Barcelona, Catalunya

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Monastrell, aka Mourvedre, blended with some Syrah and briefly aged in oaked by Barahonda in Yecla, is a massive bang for the buck and shows why cool nights can lift a full-bodied Mediterranean wine.

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The limited seats are B1,500++ per head. Please RSVP fast at 02-392-7790 or info@torobangkok.com

mature wine workshop at THE COMMONS, Nov 10th

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A wine tasting doesn’t get much better than this. If you enjoy pedigreed and maturing wines or simply want to advance your taste buds, do come over to chat with us about the following amazing bottles:

Sparkling – Andre Beaufort Blanc de Noirs Polisy 2009, Champagne, France
White – Weingut Rabl Gruner Veltliner Dechant Reserve 2008, Kamptal, Austria
White – Koehler Ruprecht Riesling Kallstadter Saumagen Auslese R 2011, Pfalz, Germany
Red – Domaine Robert Ampeau Volnay 1er Cru Santenots 1996, Burgundy France
Red – Dante Rivetti Barberesco Bricco di Neive Riserva 2008, Piedmont, Italy
Sweet – Chateau Pierre Bise Coteaux du Layon Les Rouannières 1998, Loire, France

We will be ready on the Top yard of THE COMMONS. The seated workshop is from 5-630pm. Tickets are thb 1,500 and limited to 12 who sign up and prepay here.