Piedmont, the wine region in northwest Italy, rarely calls attention to itself. It lets its wines speak for it. Here, the Nebbiolo grape is king, reaching its finest expression in such wines as Barolo and Barbaresco, among others. The best Nebbiolo comes from a delimited area of communes within Piedmont, one of which is La Morra. And this is where, in 1978, the Dogliani family bought a winery with seven beni (vineyards with farm houses) and named it Beni di Batasiolo. Today, the third-generation Doglianis own nine beni for a total of almost 300 acres, of which nearly 60 percent is planted in Nebbiolo and another 10 percent in other red varieties of the region.
While Batasiolo is particularly known for its series of Barolos produced from single vineyards, an excellent introduction for the person just getting acquainted with Batasiolo Barolo is its basic, classical Barolo. The 2007, the current vintage on the market, shows the distinctiveness of the winery’s style. It has a firm structure with dark fruit and sweet spice in the aroma, a robust body, a distinguished wine with a long, memorable finish. It retails for approximately $50.
If Barolo is the king of Piedmont’s Nebbiolo-based wines, Barbaresco is its queen. Also made 100 percent of the grape, Batasiolo’s Barbaresco tends to be a bit more velvety than its Barolo, with slightly softer tannins; as a result, it is usually approachable at an earlier age. This wine is rich with spice in the nose, deep color, medium-full body and lingering finish. It is priced at about $30.
Batasiolo also produces an exceptional Barbera D’Alba wine from its Barbera grapes. Unlike deep-shaded wines made of Nebbiolo, Barbera has a less intense color, lighter tannins and a roundness, often with a pleasant vanilla in its scent. This is an upper-class Barbera that sells for about $15.
The winery also makes two wines from its sweet Moscato d’Asti grape. The first, a still wine named for the grape, has a golden color and a refreshing acidity that balances the wine’s peach-like sweetness ($16). The second is a sparkling wine, Moscato Spumante Rosé. With a delicate fragrance, rosy pink shade, medium body, silky smoothness and delightful fruity sweetness, it is a pleasure at less than $20.
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.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
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.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
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.
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.