It is small and hilly, and nearly every other shop along its steep, narrow streets sells wine. This is Saint-Émilion, the picturesque medieval town in the wine district of Saint-Émilion, 25 miles east of the city of Bordeaux and the oldest winemaking area in the Bordeaux region. While most people think of red Bordeaux as primarily made of Cabernet Sauvignon, Saint-Émilion is known for full, luscious reds based primarily on Merlot; Cabernet Sauvignon plays a minor role in its blends. It is soil that largely determines which grapes grow best, and in Saint-Émilion’s soils, that is Merlot.
Bordeaux recently had two particularly great vintages — 2009 and 2010 — many of which I tasted during a recent visit to Saint-Émilion and at tastings in New York. In Saint-Émilion, I visited Château D’Arcole, the first winery in Bordeaux to be organic and one of the earliest to be certified biodynamic. With a blend of 70 percent Merlot and 30 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, its 2009 shows a lovely balance of fruit flavors in its aroma and taste and a developing satiny texture. Its 2010 is also a rich wine, beautifully balanced, robust in structure, with vanilla notes from its time in oak and silky tannins. ($35–40)
Château Faugères 2009 is deep-colored with an intense and pleasurable aroma and rich, full-flavored, well-integrated taste. The 2010 is ink-deep in color, round with hints of anise and black cherry. The château plants 85 percent of its vineyards in Merlot. ($50–55)
Both Château Dassault 2009 and 2010 are exceptional: rich color; full, fragrant nose; ripe and juicy with a long, satisfying aftertaste. Its 2009 is based on 75 percent Merlot, its 2010 on 83 percent Merlot. Cabernet Franc plus 5 percent Cabernet Sauvignon round out their blends. ($40–45)
Château Fombrauge plants its vineyards in 80 percent Merlot with 12 percent Cabernet Franc and 8 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. I enjoyed its 2009, a lovely, fruit-rich, delicious wine with a whiff of fresh earth in the nose. Its 2010 is a bright, fresh, open wine with rich fruit flavors and a medium-long aftertaste. ($50)
Saint-Émilion is surely a Merlot lover’s paradise.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
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.
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.