Top Drops (Thailand) Co. landed 28 brands of Australian wine at the U Pattaya Hotel.
The newish Bang Saray hotel is situated right on the beach and offers an expansive view of Jomtien Beach, local islands and sunsets.
The wine experience was well-attended by business vendors from Bang Sarary, Sattahip and Pattaya. The guests were welcomed by General Manager Vathanya Phatachai and her supporting staff.
Top Drops is the brainchild of Managing Director Matthew Brennan and Mark L’abée, the wine director and sommelier. They started the company based on their passions for wine.
Mark L’abée, Wine Director & Sommelier, and Matthew Brennan, Managing Director of Top Drops Thailand Co., Ltd., chat with Vathanya Phatachai, the general manager of U Pattaya.
“We strongly believe in educating the market in order to grow it,” L’abée said. “The target of the company is to contribute to improve the knowledge and appreciation of wines in Thailand. We work directly with the wine producers to ensure that the wines do not change hands more than once, thus the wines arrive here in great condition and prices are competitive. All wines concerned are transported stored in a temperature-controlled warehouse.”
Their intention is to provide the best possible services to customers by having a great range of premium artisan wines, on-time delivery, competitive pricing and after-sales services.
Top Drops has exclusivity for all wines it represents in Thailand. All wines they import are produced by highly specialized boutique wineries and will only be available in limited quantities to a selective client.
They highly value sustainable wine growing. Most of the wineries they work with practice organic, biodynamic or sustainable wine-growing methods.
“We don’t operate as a classic wine company but choose for a more unconventional approach,” said Brennan. “For Top Drops, we created an extensive portfolio of premium artisan wine producers and made sure we have the sole rights to represent them in Thailand. With every shipment we introduce new wines to the Thai market.
“We typically don’t keep stocks from previously imported wines as available quantities per vintage are mostly limited. A steady flow of rare and premium artisan wines available in limited quantities is the result. We are completely focused on quality and sustainability and only deal with wine artists. Every wine we import has a different story and tailor made solutions are our trade.”
U Pattaya is certainly a fabulous place to chill out in the evening.
L’abée briefed all guests about the different wines personally. His knowledge and experiences with wines are vast and certainly a big help for people who are not particularly familiar with Aussie wines.
He first introduced Fox Gordon, which is a boutique winery that produces premium and super-premium wines from Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley, both in the south of Australia.
All wines it produces are top-standard and very detailed. The 2014 Princess Fiano is a very original white wine with nectarine, white peach, tropical fruit and zesty lime impressions. Alluring and rich, the Princess isn’t weighty, but rather seductively full in all of the right places. It was priced at 1,050 baht per bottle.
Moving to the second set was the Paxton Biodynamic Vineyard’s wine. It is a boutique winery in McLaren Vale, South Australia producing some very pure and elegant biodynamic wines.
McLaren Vale is more known for the reds but at Paxton’s they have great results with whites as well. The 2013 AAA Shiraz/Grenache is a very interesting red blend with sweet fragrant cherry ripe lift and savory elements of roast lamb with rosemary. Soft, juicy cherries and chocolate, medium bodied and a savory structure with good lingering flavors and soft tannins. It is 950 baht a bottle.
Another interesting set was the La Curio. The La Curio is known as the hobby and passion of Adam Hooper, who is one of Australia’s most talented winemakers.
Adam produces only very small quantities of his McLaren Vale wines and is quite new to the Thai market. The 2013 New World Order Sangiovese is a very good example of an originally Italian grape variety doing well in Australia.
The Sangiovese grapes where sourced from one of the best vineyards in McLaren Vale. Raspberry lift on the nose combines with an alluring herbal mint note and is supported by oak spice, subtle cinnamon and vanilla. The generous palate delivers more raspberry and plum, layered with savory notes of bitter chocolate and finishes with a burst of raspberry fruit. It is priced at 1,150 baht per bottle.
Last was the Amelia Park, one of the popular wines in the evening. It is one of the most renowned and awarded boutique wineries in Margaret River, Western Australia.
This area is especially known for the excellent Sauvignon/Semillon blends, the Cabernet/Merlot blends and top-class Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is an exceptional wine with great length and complexity. It has an attractive ripe black currant fruit with lifted herbal and minty notes, supported by underlying cigar box and chocolate characters. The palate has great intensity and length with luscious red berry fruits, black olive and smooth fine tannins. It is priced at 2,200 baht per bottle.