André Lurton, a Bordeaux winemaker, heads Les Vignobles André Lurton, a 63-year-old family company that owns more than 3,000 acres of vineyards and 27 estates.
Michel Rolland, also Bordeaux-born, is an internationally famous oenologist who consults with more than 100 wineries throughout the world. Many of those wineries produce wines that sell for $100 and more, with a recent review listing some at $750 a bottle.
Lurton hired Rolland as consultant for the red wines of three of his châteaux. What makes this consultation agreement somewhat different from Rolland’s usual assignments is that André Lurton’s wines at these three châteaux sell for far less than $100. In fact, the most expensive of these fine examples of well-made Bordeaux rarely costs more than $50, and one can be found for $20.
The $20 find is Château Bonnet Réserve 2012, an equal blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark-shaded with a delicious fruitiness that carries through from aroma to taste to finish, it also flaunts a touch of vanilla and spice.
For $27, sample another André Lurton red wine, Château de Rochemorin. Its 2012 vintage is rich and approachable, with lovely fruit and a subtle oak background.
Château La Louvière lies just south of the city of Bordeaux in the Pessac-Léognan area. Here André Lurton makes some of his most interesting wines. The 2012 offers a ripe wine with a deep, flavorful aroma; sumptuous and well-balanced, it sells for approximately $39. The 2010 is beguilingly smoky, quite concentrated and still tannic. It offers the aroma of red berries, an enticing whiff of spice, a medium body and a medium-long finish. Considering how fine that vintage is, its price, at $24–43 and more often at $39, represents a fine buy for a good Bordeaux.
I also tasted Château La Louvière 1986, a 30-year-old wine still boasting an intense nose, with a silky, mellow taste and a perfume that blends vanilla and oak. In short, a grand old wine. Its price range begins at about $30.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announced plans to take over an existing hotel in Switzerland. The property is undergoing extensive renovations in preparation to open at the end of next year as Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern. The property was previously Hotel Palace Luzern, on the shores of Lake Lucerne and in the heart of the city; it originally opened in 1906.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
As part of Germany’s climate package, a plan to reduce emissions, the country will raise departure taxes at German airports. Taxes will go up as much as 60 percent, and are expected to raise up to €740 million. The funds will then be used to lower VAT on rail fares from 19 percent to 7 percent.
Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, ahead of its naming ceremony Nov. 21. The 1,100-foot-long ship boasts a guest capacity of nearly 4,000. Since Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the shi, Oct. 30, Norwegian Encore sailed from Germany to England before making its way to New York City, then Miami, where the christening ceremony takes place next week.
Swiss-Belhotel International boasts an impressive portfolio throughout 22 countries, including 10 ASEAN member countries. This growth is continuing with the group’s new plans to debut four properties in Thailand.
One of Palm Desert, California’s, signature hotel properties recently finalized its biggest-ever redesign. The JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa is home to 884 guestrooms and nearly 250,000 square feet of event space. Every facet of the property has been redesigned ahead of the property’s grand re-opening in January.