Ayala is back. in many ways, though, this 148-year-old Champagne never really left — at least not for those who remembered it fondly. For the last decade, while it continued to be available throughout Europe, it was not imported into the United States. Then, in 2005, the venerable Champagne house of Bollinger, itself 179 years old, bought it. And once again American consumers may enjoy Ayala.
Ayala sprang from the marriage of Edmond de Ayala to the Viscount of Mareuil’s niece in 1860. For the dowry, the viscount gave them Château Ay and prime vineyards. Soon after, the Champagne house of Ayala was born.
This fresh introduction brings a wide selection of Ayala Champagnes to the United States. To begin, try the Brut Majeur ($40), a traditional, non-vintage Champagne blend of 45 percent Pinot Noir, 35 percent Chardonnay and 20 percent Pinot Meunier. Fine and fruity, this lovely wine sparkles with especially lively bubbles.
The vintaged Ayala Millesimé 1999 ($60) — 80 percent Pinot Noir, 20 percent Chardonnay, all Grand Cru — is opulent, creamy, rich and powerful with a flavor that lingers long after the last sip.
Ayala also produces the rare and beautiful Zéro dosage ($45) that, unlike virtually all other Champagnes, has no added sweetness, or dosage. The incredible clarity of the wine enhances the clean, crisp citrus notes on the tongue. Yet, despite the lack of sweetness, it shows a surprising touch of richness.
Blanc de Blancs 2000 ($65), made totally from Grand Cru Chardonnay, personifies elegance with a hint of floral perfume, a finesse and balance. In all, a splendid Champagne.
Especially impressive is the house’s prestige Champagne, Cuvée Perle d’Ayala 2001 ($120). A blend of 80 percent Chardonnay and 20 percent Pinot Noir Grand Cru grapes and aged six years on the lees, it displays a rich texture and deep and complex aromas. A truly noble Champagne.
Not many of us receive a château and vineyards for a wedding gift. And not many can afford to give such a gift. But we’ll never go wrong sending a bride and groom a bottle or two of Ayala.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.
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.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Get to know Mexico with ONE FREE NIGHT With Fiesta Americana Get to know Mexico with the largest hotel company in the country, offering more than 185 options in the best city and resort destinations. Book at any of our hotels with the best available rate at the time of booking and get one night free.
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.