Oscar Wilde never had a problem with quality. “I find I am easily satisfied with the very best,” he said. Put a bottle of vintage Champagne in front of sparkling wine lovers and they’re likely to say the same. There is, of course, a vintage every year, but in the cool climate of Champagne, the most northern grape-growing region of France, not every vintage ripens to be a great one. On average, about three or four of every 10 years is exceptional. Only then is a vintage Champagne produced, made entirely from grapes harvested in the year on the bottle’s label. And other years? There is non-vintage Champagne, a blend of wines from a number of harvests, and thus, the label bears no date.
Since vintage Champagne represents an especially good year, it follows that it usually has the ability to age long and well. Consider the following examples, tasted only a few months ago and still lively, inviting and seductive.
Take Taittinger Brut Millésime 2004. A lighter-bodied Champagne of finesse and delicacy, it shows a hint of vanilla; a pleasant, mild lemony taste; and minuscule bubbles.
Also gossamer in body, Perrier-Jouët Fleur de Champagne Brut 2002 is silky with fruit tastes reminiscent of pear and shows fine balance and, again, a touch of vanilla.
Toasty and fuller-textured, Pol Roger Extra Cuvée de Réserve Brut 2000 is rich and creamy and displays an impressive structure.
The elegant Ayala Brut Millésime 1999 is bright, harmonious and vibrant with citrus overtones and a persistent finish: a delicious Champagne.
Nicolas Feuillatte Cuvée Palmes d’Or 1999 has an assertive nose that reminds one of apples and, beyond that, of toast. It also has a mineral quality and great length in its finish.
Still older is G.H. Mumm Cuvée Lalou Brut 1998, a complex Champagne with excellent structure — 13 years after it was made, still intense and vital.
Consider that vintage Champagne is not produced every year; consider that it is limited in quantity; consider, too, that it is aged for years before being released — and it’s clear why it costs two or three times more than non-vintage Champagne.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
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.
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.