The New York Times Book of Wine: More Than 30 Years of Vintage Writing
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steps of the restored three-level winery, where the original 19th-century redwood joists and limestone walls are covered in the sort of black mold common in ancient European cellars but rare in California. His new Acura is equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, and he doesn’t plan to rest on his laurels. “Every year we’re trying to learn something that will push us 1 percent or 5 percent forwards,” he said, “and it’s gone on for 40 years.” March 2010 Is There Still Hope for Syrah?
it can seem to be sweet, because of the flowery bouquet. Riesling is Alsace’s finest grape. It produces wines that, at their best, display layers of complexity and nuance. A good Alsatian riesling can last 15 years, and late-harvest versions can live in superb condition for 30 to 50 years. Alsace produces a lot of wine, most of it indifferent stuff that, fortunately, rarely makes it across the Atlantic. Michel Bettane, the French critic, who tasted with me at Domaine Weinbach, contends that in
temperatures, total darkness and enough pressure to keep the corks in. Getting help in recognizing the find was not easy. “It was quite tricky to get someone to listen,” Mr. Ekstrom said. When he contacted Veuve Clicquot, one of the largest French Champagne houses, in search of expertise, a voice on the phone said, “It’s a fantastic story, but I have to ask you, ‘Where is Aland?’” Gradually, word got out to the Champagne world, and this November experts from abroad, including from Jacquesson
the Juglar, “a little more intense, bigger, the French would say, ‘rustique,’” but said they both compared favorably to some of the best Champagnes today. Not much goes on in this collection of islands that belongs to Finland but whose inhabitants speak Swedish, so the residents are understandably hoping the Champagne will put Mariehamn on the map. The government wants to auction the bottles over time; there are also, somewhat inexplicably, plans to blend some of it with modern Champagne and
1920s, revitalized at a cost of $53 million. Happily, the town has not been Disneyfied. Old-line businesses survive, like Falkenberg’s and the neon-bedecked Italian-American Pastime Café, founded in 1927 and specializing in trend-bucking “ravioli with meatballs or Italian sausage.” Tourists are coming, too, in manageable numbers so far, because Walla Walla is difficult to get to. On Spring Release Weekend early in May, when the pink dogwoods lining the streets are in full bloom, the weather is