Take Dalton Winery’s Estate Shiraz 2009 ($18). Blended with small amounts of Petite Sirah, Merlot and Mourvèdre, it is a deep-shaded and intense wine with peppery tones in the aroma followed by a round body. The winery’s Fumé Blanc 2009 ($15) echoes Sauvignon Blanc’s characteristic grassy aroma and lively taste.
Galil Mountain’s Yiron 2006 ($22) is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah that is fruit-driven, balanced and smooth.
Domaine du Castel Grand Vin 2007 ($75) lives up to its name. It is a Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine that is elegant, multiflavored and well integrated. It is one of the finest Bordeaux blends I tasted among Israeli wines.
Yarden Odem Chardonnay 2008 ($18) exemplifies Israel’s strides. Whereas a few years ago it was over-oaked and out of joint, today it is a nicely balanced, flavorful wine. I was also impressed with Yarden Syrah 2005 ($25). It is full-bodied and polished with a lengthy finish.
Flam Winery’s Superiore Syrah 2008 ($51) is also made entirely of the single varietal. It is finely structured, and with its peppery nose and satiny texture, it evokes the essence of Syrah.
Israel has one grape that is its own. The red Argaman was created there by crossing Carignan and Souzão. Barkan, which calls itself Artisans of Red Wine (never mind that it also produces a commendable Reserve Chardonnay for $18), uses it as half its Barkan Classic Merlot-Argaman. The 2009 ($12) blend is earthy and forward and offers a distinctly new and different taste experience.
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.