One of the world’s most famous wine regions, Burgundy — with its charming stone villages — maintains a medieval aura. Located in eastern France, the region turns out some of the greatest red wines ever produced from pinot noir and some of the most inspirational white wines in the world from its chardonnay — setting a standard for these grapes that the rest of the world can only attempt to duplicate.
Burgundy’s great wines come from the Côte d’Or, a 30-mile ribbon of vines at the heart of the region. The northern section, called the Côte de Nuits, produces mostly reds; the southern section, called Côte de Beaune, is known for both red and white wines.
Beneath its tranquil setting, however, Burgundy is a tantalizing puzzle. Here, the same grape grown by the same vintner in vineyards a stone’s throw from one another can produce wines of distinctly different characters. Here, too, nearly every vineyard is divided among several owners with each owner working his own plot of vines. The result? Purchasing burgundy can be a game of chance.
How, then, do you zero in on a good burgundy? Simply by tasting and learning which brokers, négociants and vintners offer wines most pleasing to your palate. Examples of wines that are likely to be of superb and steadfast quality include those listed as Becky Wasserman Selection among brokers, as Joseph Drouhin among négociants, or as Michel Lafarge or Comtes Lafon among individual vintners.
Also of exceptional quality are the Côte de Nuits wines of Alain Burguet from the village of Gevrey-Chambertin; Domaine Lignier-Michelot from Morey St. Denis; Domaine des Monts Luisants, also from Morey St. Denis; Maison Camille Giroud and Domaine J.F. Mugnier, both from Vosne-Romanée; and Domaine Dominique Mugneret from Nuits St. Georges.
The Côte de Beaune is home to both Lafarge (in the village of Volnay) and Lafon (Meursault). Other worthy Côte de Beaune vintners are Domaine Matrot-Willtersheim (Volnay), Domaine Coste Caumartin (Pom-mard) and Domaine Hubert Lamy (St. Aubin).
Like the land itself, Burgundy’s wines do not announce themselves with a roar of thunder or a bolt of lightning, with high tannins and raw power. Their introduction is smoother and more subtle, reminiscent of smooth satin and elegant silk. And the pleasure of their company remains long after the glass is empty.
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.
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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.
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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.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.