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.
Tucked away between the verdant hills of the Dominican Republic and beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea, Samaná is the perfect year-round destination. No matter what time of year you choose to visit this hidden gem, you can check things off your travel bucket list. In the summer, escape the busy tourism hot spots and explore off-the-beaten path areas and activities; in the winter, embark on an eco-excursion like whale watching in Samaná Bay.
The coastal town of Belek in Antalya serves as the setting for the brand new, 5-star Cullinan Belek, named for the largest rough diamond ever discovered. Set along the sparkling azure waters of the Turkish Riviera, the new property boasts its own private white-sand beach, with 600 plush guestrooms (including 10 luxurious villas), all providing sea views. The hotel also has 13 swimming pools, 10 dining venues and five bars.
Museums beckon wherever we go. They amuse and enlighten travelers and bring to public attention historical, artistic, scientific and natural wonders. Most are thought-provoking and educational, stretching our minds and our knowledge of the world. Some, however, stand out as just plain quirky: personal and sometimes whimsical collections, museums dedicated to a unique skill or long- forgotten industry, arcane collections originally designed for scientific study. Others devote their space to sharing a subject that represents one person’s consuming passion.
THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED
The Seoul Tourism Organization participated in IMEX, the world’s largest MICE exhibition, in Frankfurt, Germany, May 29–June 2. IMEX celebrated its 200th anniversary this year.
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection celebrated an exciting moment recently when Evrima, its inaugural yacht, completed a series of successful sea trials. On June 9, in Santander, Spain, Evrima reached what is considered one of the final shipbuilding milestones prior to launch with the sea trials, a series of tests carried out when the yacht is sailing on open waters. Captain Steven MacBeath led the trials, alongside a team of senior officers, engineers, contractors and shipyard staff.
Whether you prefer a villa on the beach or an ultra-luxe suite downtown, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Los Cabos.