“We’ve had Malbec in Argentina for a century, so there’s been plenty of time to make careful selections and develop only the best vines,” said Jean-Jacques Bonnie of DiamAndes. That is one reason Malbec, once a bit player in Bordeaux, is now the starring red grape in Argentina. Argentina’s dry, temperate, sunny climate and vineyards 3,000 feet high on the slopes of the Andes Mountains — conditions that help the grape ripen fully — produce the finest expression of Malbec, probably in the world.
Jean-Jacques’ family owns DiamAndes in Argentina’s Valle de Uco. It also owns the Grand Cru Classé de Graves Château Malartic Lagravière in Bordeaux, where the soil and climate are different from Argentina’s and where Cabernet Sauvignon is king. Still, as satisfying as their Graves wine is, the promise of Malbec in Argentina lured the Bonnies.
They built an architecturally stunning winery and produced their first vintage in 2007, working to capture the essence of Argentine Malbec while introducing a bit of Bordeaux to it. How? “By refining its tannins, giving it a complex flavor and a long finish,” Jean-Jacques said, “and especially, imparting our Argentine wines with a touch of Bordeaux’s elegance.” Another Bordeaux influence is DiamAndes’ philosophy of producing a limited number of wines. They have three categories.
At the top of the order is DiamAndes Gran Reserva ($38), a blend primarily of Malbec with, depending on the vintage, about a quarter of Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. The 2007 vintage is dark-colored, supple, complex, intense and well-balanced, with a deep aroma of dark berries, plum and vanilla and a long, memorable finish.
The DiamAndes Varietal line includes a lively, lightly oaked Chardonnay with mild tropical fruit flavors; a fuller-bodied, round Viognier; and a rich, medium-bodied Malbec ($20) offering a nose reminiscent of coffee and chocolate.
Its Perlita line blends 80 percent Malbec and 20 percent Syrah, a bright, pleasurable fruit-driven choice for a casual quaff ($13). And DiamAndes’ older Bordeaux sibling? Château Malartic Lagravière 2009, still an infant, is a ripe wine of substance and lengthy finish that promises a long maturity. The 2008 Malartic is attractive, harmonious and aging beautifully. Both sell for about $70.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Even if you are not familiar with Chicago, you may already know the Wicker Park neighborhood is one of the city’s “eat like a local” destinations, especially among young professionals whose idea of local is actually quite global. After a decade of high-concept comfort food and gastro-pubs, the Tan family took over a homey space on North Avenue to mix things up with the opening of Cebu. Cebu is not just a Filipino restaurant, but one focused on Cebuano regional cooking along with its Chinese and Spanish underpinnings.