The king lives; it’s the rumors that have died. For much of the 20th century, Rioja was the royalty of Spain’s red wines. But about two decades ago, its hold on the throne was shaken, partly by complacency, mostly by newborn and reborn Spanish regions producing excellent and exciting wines. So what did Rioja do? It sized up the competition, took a good look at itself, fine-tuned its wines and straightened its crown.
The region of Rioja lies in northern Spain, where the major grape, Tempranillo, makes wines that are full, friendly, a delight to drink. Rioja’s top wines are labeled “Gran Reserva,” aged five years; “Reserva,” aged four years; and “Crianza,” aged one year. Among vintages on the market, 2001 is excellent; 1999 and 2000 are good; 1996 and 1998 are very good; and 1994 and 1995 are magnificent.
Muga’s Prado Enea Gran Reserva 1995 is rich, intense, with a smoky aroma, while its Torre Muga 1998, called “a new wine for the new customer,” is powerful with excellent balance.
Rémélluri makes only Reserva and Gran Reserva Rioja. With their complexity, elegance and light mineral-like background, they tend to mature slowly. Rémélluri grows all its own grapes.
So does Barón de Ley. And the quality of those grapes can be tasted in its wines, among them the deep ruby-red, well-knit 2000 with its juicy flavors and lingering aftertaste.
Montecillo, on the other hand, buys its grapes. Judging by its 1995 Gran Reserva, with its richness and hints of anise and pepper in the aroma, it chooses those grapes well.
From the village of Briones come two small bodegas with big reputations. Miguel Merino’s first vintage was 1994, and what a beauty it is. That was followed by his incredible and distinctive Gran Reserva 1995. And so he has continued, turning out one graceful Rioja after another. Allende, begun in 1989, also produces exceptional wines. Among them are the powerful, concentrated Aurus 1999; the rich, complex Aurus 2000; and the flavorful, delicious Calvario 2001.
Rioja has other fine producers, among them Marqués de Cáceres, Martinez Bujanda, Marqués de Murrieta, Faustino Martinez and La Rioja Alta. Each adds another facet to Rioja’s glory.
Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, a light breeze dancing on your face, and views so beautiful you begin to think it is a simulation. The United Kingdom is teeming with unique accommodations that will please your eyes. Check out these stays with stunning views on your next U.K. adventure.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
AdventureWomen, the travel company specializing in adventure tours for women, announced a partnership with African Wildlife Foundation. The organization supports the conservation of Africa’s wildlife through education, community development and sustainability projects. As part of the partnership, the two organizations will host a women’s safari to Zimbabwe in May 2022.
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, where innovative wellness and balanced indulgence come together in one extraordinary beachfront setting, recently partnered with First Responders Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization providing financial support to children and families of first responders. This partnership formed the Carillon Cares: Summer of Heroes offers, including a donation to the foundation for each stay booked, which supports giving back to those who fought on the front lines during the pandemic.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Although much changed in the past year, Cancún still has the joie de vivre we need right now after months of cabin fever — even with safety measures in place. In fact, the first half of 2021 may be a good time to rediscover Mexico’s home-grown Caribbean resort town in a slower, more relaxed mode that contrasts its rollicking “spring break” reputation of old. One place to take in Cancún at its best is JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, a mile up from the convergence of night clubs, chain restaurants, souvenir emporiums and shopping malls along Avenida Kukulkan.
June marks Pride Month, largely credited to bisexual activist Brenda Howard who organized Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade in 1970, one year after the Stonewall Riots. The parade eventually become the New York City Pride March, leading to Pride Month and similar parades and marches around the world.
Haven Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, an all-suite, adults-only, all-inclusive oceanfront resort, announces a new experience suited for epicurean travelers: The Chef’s Table. At Haven’s fine-dining restaurant Olios Mediterranean, The Chef’s Table offers the best seats in the house, right in front of the chef’s working station and open, top-of-the-line kitchen. And the actual table is beautiful in its own right: made from reclaimed wood and complemented by a turquoise glass chandelier.