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.
Expansion plans involving a new 14-gate concourse at Mineta San Jose International Airport in California must clear environmental review before moving forward.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower opened following full renovations to its 280 guestrooms and public spaces. The property is the second Hyatt Regency in Spain. The hotel sits in a Barcelona skyline landmark, a 29-story tower topped with a glass dome that provides travelers with 360-degree views and an unparalleled dining experience.
Opened this past November, Osaka Excel Tokyu Hotel rethinks the classic Japanese business hotel format in a delightful way. While the basic design concept is rooted in generations-old Japanese aesthetics, its wow factor comes from the interior designers’ approach of filtering them through a kaleidoscope. This effect is accomplished with ornate hexagonal lamps, carpeting with geometric shape motifs and pops of happy gold and blue hues. The lobby adds to that with a whimsical, but sophisticated mix of artwork and decorative ornaments, with a color palette and ornamentation that extends to 364 private rooms and suites throughout 17 floors.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
In an age where airlines continually look for new ways to increase connectivity and offer passengers more options, a new agreement gives United Airlines passengers the ability to book spots on 68 Vistara-operated flights to 26 destinations in India. The agreement goes into effect Feb. 28.
Reconnect with nature and step outside your comfort zone at Palmaïa, The House of AïA. The new Riviera Maya resort focuses on inner exploration and a respect for nature, offering visitors an array of experiences promoting self-discovery and spiritual wellness.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
Qatar Airways is expanding this year, adding eight new destinations to its network. The list includes: