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LU X U R Y W I T H O U T C O M P R O M I S E

CAR OF THE YEAR THE WORLD’S MOST AMAZING MACHINES GO HEAD TO HEAD F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 8


Breguet, the innovator. Marine Équation Marchante 5887 As a member of the Bureau des Longitudes, Abraham-Louis Breguet was appointed chronometer-maker to the French Royal Navy by King Louis XVIII in 1815. Today, this legacy is celebrated with the Marine Équation Marchante 5887. This master timepiece simultaneously shows mean time in relation to true solar time, indicated by a hand with a facetted golden sun. History is still being written… marine.breguet.com


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BEING THE FASTEST IS MERELY A BONUS

Sculpted by the wind. Challenging and elevating the very concept of super sports cars past. Re-engineering the Huracán, the Performante features Forged Composites® and is designed with Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA). The improved weight, engine power, and chassis, all combined with the engineering advances, allow this car to effortlessly slice through the air at every high-speed turn. This is the Huracán Performante. This is performance forever redefined.


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THIS VALENTINE’S DAY SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR HER TODAY... TOMORROW... FOREVER...

Each piece is inscribed with a discreet but powerful message on the inside: “I Love You Today, I Love You Tomorrow, I Love You Forever” utilizing a pink sapphire as a romantic accent. Bangle Bracelets, set of three, $1080 (also available individually, $360) Rings, set of three, $390 (also available individually, $130) Three-Ring Love Necklace, $475 SHOP.CHARLESKRYPELL.COM

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CALIBER RM 63-02 WORLD TIMER

RICHARD MILLE BOUTIQUES ASPEN • BAL HARBOUR • BEVERLY HILLS • BUENOS AIRES • LAS VEGAS • MIAMI • ST. BARTH • TORONTO


february 2018, volume 42, number 2

F E AT U R E S

2018 CAR OF THE YEAR In this year’s annual competition, more than 200 Robb Report readers put 13 new sports and luxury cars to the test in Napa Valley and Boca Raton. From an opulent new Aston Martin to a rocket-powered Mercedes-AMG roadster, find out which ride reigned supreme.

ROBB RICE

SPECIAL SECTION BEGINS ON PAGE 82

R O B B R E P O R T. C O M

13


Raise your limits.

720S

Super Series

cars.mclaren.com


F E AT U R E S 120

Isles Away The Time + Tide Miavana resort brings new frills and thrills to the enigmatic island paradise of Madagascar. BY LAURIE WERNER

126

Joie de Vertige This sleek charter yacht offers amenities and an enthusiastic crew to make a memorable excursion for the whole family. BY MICHAEL VERDON

132

Bottle Rockets The latest releases of single malts, bourbons, Cognacs, and rums that serious spirits collectors need to acquire. BY RICHARD CARLETON HACKER

140

Interior Motives Iconic British designer Clive Christian welcomes clients into a posh new penthouse in Chicago.

BLUEI PRODUCTIONS

BY ARIANNE NARDO

R O B B R E P O R T. C O M

15


THE BEAUTIFUL THING ABOUT HOME

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TIMBERS COLLECTION l Aspen l Bachelor Gulch l Cabo San Lucas l Jupiter l Kauaâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;i l Kiawah Island l Maui l Napa l Scottsdale l Snowmass l Sonoma l Southern California l Steamboat l Tuscany l U.S. Virgin Islands l Vail This advertisement does not constitute an offer to sell nor the solicitation of an offer to purchase made in any jurisdiction nor made to residents of any jurisdiction, including New York, where registration is required. Tower Kauai Lagoons LLC uses the Timbers Resort,ÂŽ Timbers CollectionÂŽ and certain other Timbers brand names under a limited non-transferable license in connection with the sales and marketing of the Hokuala Kauaiâ&#x201E;˘ â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A Timbers ResortÂŽ (the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Projectâ&#x20AC;?). If this license is terminated or expires without renewal, the Project will no longer be identiďŹ ed with nor have any right to use the TimbersÂŽ marks and names. All renderings depicted in this advertisement are illustrative only and may be changed at any time. All rights reserved.


DEPARTMENTS

N McCrady's tasting menu; see page 48.

N Marc Chagall painting; see page 75. S Temple St. Clair; page g 36. see p

24 26 28 32

ON THE WEB EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK QUANTUM VIEW PERFECT 10 Events, items, and experiences catching our editors’ attention this month include a luscious Napa Cabernet, a bracelet buzzing with style, Armani denim, and limited editions for the Year of the Dog.

ESSENCE OF STRENGTH: MICHAEL AUSTEN

40

B E TA Tomorrow’s most thrilling concepts comprise a motorcycle with samuraiinspired style, a gold-plated speedboat, and an allelectric Lambo.

48

G E N I U S AT W O R K

N Bugatti Type 390; see page 160.

50

G A L L E RY Essential news across watches, autos, travel, design, wine, and more.

71

S Essence of Strength; see page 58.

S Objects of Affection; see page 153.

CURIOS Upcoming auctions and fairs offering covetable paintings, books, cars, and photography.

153

Extraordinary treats, games, and tokens of affection that make our hearts skip a beat.

BY ANGELA M.H. SCHUSTER

147

TIME WELL SPENT

A R T I C L E S O F TA S T E

160

TIME PIECE

Go behind the line with celebrated Southern chef Sean Brock as he pursues tasting-menu perfection at McCrady’s in Charleston.

Raise a glass to Napa Valley, California’s beloved wine country, as it rises from the ashes and looks to the future.

Florin Niculescu of Parmigiani Fleurier discusses the intricacies of the latest wristwatch from Parmigiani: the Bugatti Type 390.

BY STEVEN TINGLE

BY MICHALENE BUSICO

BY JAMES D. MALCOLMSON

COVER ILLUSTRATION: MATTHIEU FORICHON

R O B B R E P O R T. C O M

17


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Rooted in Oakville. Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon embodies the essence of the most remarkable winegrowing region in the Napa Valley. Or maybe the world. It originates from our tiny Reserve Vineyard, in an appellation where nature’s perfections—from soil to climate—coalesce, allowing us to produce

©2018 Groth Vineyards & Winery. Rooted in Oakville is a registered trademark of Groth Vineyards & Winery.

the ultimate expression of Oakville.

www.GrothReserve.com


ON THE WEB R O B B R E P O R T. C O M

STORY OF THE MONTH

Grapes grown from vines as old as 150 years, from both the Old World and the New, create beautifully rare, complex, and balanced wines. robbreport.com/ oldvinewines

Passion for Planes How Jerry Yagen accidentally compiled a fleet of 70 ready-to-fly aircraft. robbreport.com/ aircraftcollector

READER SURVEY RESULTS

Which dessert would you most want to share with your loved one? Our readers shared which sweets are the key to their Valentines’ hearts.

25%

Dominique Ansel Bakery kouignamann cakes

21%

Jacques Torres chocolates

39%

Ladurée macarons

15%

Milk Bar chocolatemalt cake

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F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 8


Instagram @robbreport

Facebook Facebook.com/robbreport “I’d move there in a heartbeat,” said one Instagrammer about this modern Beverly Hills bachelor pad.

SOCIAL STANDING Popular posts @RobbReport

Twitter @robbreport It’s no secret that our Twitter followers loved reading about hotels with clandestine speakeasy bars.

One of Carroll Shelby’s most iconic cars has come back to life and grabbed the attention of our Facebook followers.

WEB EXCLUSIVES

OUR ONLINE GUIDE TO THE 2018 ROBB REPORT CAR OF THE YEAR

The High Five SHOW SEASON

FOR A COMPREHENSIVE RECAP OF THE COMPETITION, BEHIND-THE-SCENES INSIGHTS, AND A CLOSER LOOK AT THE TOP PERFORMERS, VISIT ROBBREPORT.COM’S DEDICATED SHOWCASE FOR THE SHOWDOWN.

Cadillac CTS-V Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

McLaren 720S Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody

2018 CAR OF THE YEAR

Top Vehicles Unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show robbreport.com/laautoshowtopcars

Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante

Mercedes-AMG S65

Get Caught Up on the Coolest CuttingEdge Tech from CES 2018 robbreport.com/bestofces

Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster

Audi R8 V10 Spyder

Lexus LC500

Bentley Continental Supersports BMW M760Li xDrive

Lamborghini Huracán Performante Ferrari GTC4Lusso

Like Fashion Week for Design, Maison & Objet in Paris Influences Style at Home robbreport.com/maisonandobjet

FEEL BEHIND THE WHEEL: STEWART COOK; PHILANTHROPY: JOHN G. MABANGLO/EPA-EFE /REX / SHUT TERSTOCK; CONTENDERS: DONG LIU/ SHUT TERSTOCK; GUESS THAT GROWL: CHARLIE MAGEE

Yachts We Love from the Antigua Charter Yacht Show robbreport.com/antiguayachtshow The Feel Behind the Wheel of the Top Three Finishers robbreport.com/feelbehindthewheel

Cars to Covet: The 13 Models in This Year’s Matchup robbreport.com/cotycontenders

How This Year’s COTY Went Full-Throttle on Philanthropy robbreport.com/cotyphilanthropy

Guess That Growl: Do You Know the Soundtrack to Your Favorite Supercar? robbreport.com/guessthatgrowl

Swiss Watchmakers Unveil Their Latest Creations in a Time of Change robbreport.com/sihhnewwatches

R O B B R E P O R T. C O M

25


EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK

Brett Anderson

Executive Vice President, Edito f

Getting Awa

“Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car.” — E . B. W H I T E as White observed, are forces that forged our action-obsessed culture— particularly in the United States. The things we seek are inevitably elsewhere, and for many of us, our means of movement is as important as our desired destination. This knowledge informs Robb Report’s largest annual event, at which some 200 readers gather to celebrate White’s sine qua non of modern life: the automobile. As automotive editor Viju Mathew notes, the 2018 Car of the Year competition (page 82) reveals not only the finer points of the

Of course, a car can take one only so far—and making one’s way to and from a remote paradise is not always a divine experience, as contributor Laurie Werner learned on her trip to Madagascar to report on the just-opened Miavana resort, located in the Nosy Ankao archipelago, in “Isles Away” (page 120). Although Laurie’s trip to the island was relatively stress free thanks to a rare direct flight on SA Airlink from Johannesburg to Nosy Be in Madagascar, her return presented grimmer prospects. “It wasn’t one of the days that Airlink had a flight, so I was first flown to Antsiranana to catch an Air Madagascar flight,” she recalls. “Arrachart Airport is a pre–World War II, former military airport named for a French aviator who died in an accident—never an auspicious sign. But as we waited for hours in the sun for the desk to open, I thought of my organizer’s warning. I wasn’t flying directly back to Johannesburg; I was flying to the capital, Antananarivo (known as Tana), to overnight before my connecting flight, because Air Madagascar is notoriously unreliable, and she didn’t trust it. She was right not to. We were 2 hours late for no apparent reason, and after a night in a very basic motel near the Tana airport, we were also late leaving for Johannesburg. I would have just made my Qatar Airlines flight—but it was canceled. A day later, I finally got home.” A more accessible haven can be found in Amenia, N.Y., which lies just a short drive from White’s hometown of Mount Vernon. In “Literary Elements” (page 66), contributor Jorge S. Arango details the welllettered history of Troutbeck, a 45-acre estate whose 18th-century residence has been recently reformed as a boutique hotel combining natural and bookish beauties. Once the home of poet Myron Benton and, later, of publisher Col. Joel Elias Spingarn, the Dutchess County property has hosted some of the leading intellects of the past two centuries. “The place has long operated as a literary and intellectual salon,” says Jorge. “Many people migrated here for discussions. Emerson and Thoreau were personal friends of Benton’s, and Mark Twain and Theodore Roosevelt were guests. Ernest Hemingway and Martin Luther King Jr. visited Spingarn, who was a founding member of the NAACP.” White is not known to have been invited to Troutbeck; but had he encountered such an illustrious assemblage coming his way, he’d likely have fled down the back stairs.

26

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vehicles’ engineering and performance but also their personalities. “Experiencing so many cars in succession, I began to personify each one based on its qualities and character flaws,” Viju says. “Our winner, the Lamborghini Huracán Performante, for example, reminded me of an Autobot from Transformers—a futuristic automotive ally that promises both power and protection. The Hellcat, however, was the bad boy of the block. Too cool for school, it seemed to encourage delinquent behavior and a taste for trouble.”

LAMBORGHINI: ROBB RICE; MIAVANA: TIME + TIDE; TROUTBECK: PAUL BARBERA

The author of such diverse books as Charlotte’s Web and The Elements of Style was notoriously mobile for one whose profession required long hours stationed at a desk. According to his friend and colleague James Thurber, while on staff at the New Yorker, White—an extremely private individual—would abscond from his office whenever a visitor sought an introduction. In these instances, his method of making his hasty getaways was not an automobile but the building’s fire escape. Motion and locomotion,


Quantum View

1

3

5

1 6

7

1

2

6

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10

4 7

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7 12

4

Since the dawn of the 21st

century, the winners of the title Robb Report Car of the Year—while not necessarily easy to predict—have been easy to defend, with Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche taking the No. 1 spot, some multiple times. And then there was Bugatti’s Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, which was awarded Car of the Decade in 2010, so thoroughly did it impress our judges. Two hundred and six sets of car keys have gone through my hands since 2003, my first time orchestrating Car of the Year. It began in 1994 as an annual feature where editors—not readers— ranked their automotive worthies, although hindsight may suggest that many of the automotive candidates were anything but. Just like that powder-blue leisure suit or the man bun, some cars must have seemed like a good idea at the time. Looking back, such sartorial, tonsorial, and automotive blunders are cringeworthy, and even the rosiest-colored eyewear fails to improve the image of a 1996 Chrysler Town & Country LXi locking horns with a Lincoln Continental. Since 2003, we editors have endeavored to set the bar sufficiently high so as to avoid embarrassment decades down the road. But one thing that is impossible to avoid is progress, amply demonstrated by scanning vital statistics like horsepower and prices over the years. Twenty years ago, 300 hp was quite formidable; today, twice that number is common, as are zero-to-60-mph sprints in less than 3 seconds, with top speeds above 200 mph. Manual transmissions have all but disappeared, and carburetors are as extinct as the dodo. And yes, nice cars cost about twice as much as they did in 1996. —ROBERT ROSS

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6 9

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CAR OF THE DECADE

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PORSCHE


Most people buy what they need. Some buy what they want. Few buy what they dream.

This is the car they dream of.

The all new Revero.


K A R M A A U T O M O T I V E . C O M


BREAK FOR BALI COMO UMA CANGGU

:

“I’m following up an unsuccessful Dry January with some detox in paradise at the new Como Uma Canggu. Como’s third resort in Bali opens this month with a holistic spa, a juice bar, and healthy Como Shambhala cuisine focusing on raw ingredients. In between Pilates classes and surf lessons with the pioneers from Tropicsurf, I’ll master the subtle art of relaxation on my villa’s private terrace.” —JACKIE CARADONIO

Perfect 10

WH AT TH E E DITO RS A RE OBSESSING ABOUT THIS MONTH.

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W H AT T H E E D I T O R S A R E O B S E S S I N G A B O U T T H I S M O N T H

2 THE MOUNTAINS ARE CALLING B O U L D E R S AT M O U N TA I N S I D E AT N O R T H S TA R

:

“Surrounded by granite outcroppings near Lake Tahoe in Northern California, Boulders is a new residential development within the ski-in/ski-out Mountainside at Northstar community. Each of the 19 townhomes and singlefamily estates will offer sweeping views and access to a community fitness center and pool. The first five residences will be completed this month, with prices starting around $2.5 million.” —REBEKAH BELL

3 CONVENIENT TIMING WAT C H E S & W O N D E R S M I A M I

:

“If you couldn’t attend January’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, a more convenient alternative now exists to catch all the latest European and Swiss watch launches. Watches & Wonders Miami, held from February 16 to 19 in the city’s Design District, will feature 21 brands showing their latest creations in their own boutiques or pop-up stores. Coinciding with Miami Design District Concours and the Miami Yacht Show, the event promises to be the easiest way yet to take in the Swiss novelties.” —JAMES D. MALCOLMSON

4 MASKED CRUSADER :

“Italy’s Floating City is in full regalia the first two weeks of February, as it celebrates Venice Carnival 2018 with grand costume balls, boat parades, street performances, and more. Look for me at one of my favorite hotels on the planet, the Gritti Palace (shown), whose Grand Canal-front Riva Lounge is the perfect spot to kick off the day’s masked mischief.” —BRUCE WALLIN

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GRIT TI PALACE: DANIELE NALESSO

V E N I C E C A R N I VA L 2 0 1 8


Yacht Beautifully.

Learn about the 40 knot carbon fiber Talaria 55 at HinckleyYachts.com.


W H AT T H E E D I T O R S A R E O B S E S S I N G A B O U T T H I S M O N T H

7 VINE ENVY VILLA DEL LAGO 2013 C A B E R N E T S A U V I G N O N N A PA VA L L E Y

:

“In judging wine, my credo has always been to trust the winemaker over the critic—particularly if the former praises a competitor. The master behind one of Napa’s most prestigious labels told me that if he were to trade his vineyard for another, he would choose Villa Del Lago. This 20-acre plot on Pritchard Hill produces a $350 Cabernet Sauvignon that is both exquisitely articulated and finely structured.” —BRETT ANDERSON

5 WALKING ON SUNSHINE M O D E R N I S M W E E K I N PA L M S P R I N G S

:

“Palm Springs is like Las Vegas: It’s perfectly content to ignore reality and pick up a martini. For years, I’ve wanted to explore this midcentury-modern haven, and Modernism Week is the ideal time. Running February 15 through 25, this immersive event affords the chance to tour architectural gems like William Cody’s 1962 Abernathy residence (shown), learn about a few unsung female design talents of the day, and allow my caftan-wearing alter ego to splash around Donald Wexler’s classic 1964 Dinah Shore estate.” —ARIANNE NARDO

6 BEE JEWELED T E M P L E S T. C L A I R B E E L I N K B R A C E L E T

—CAROLYN MEERS

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PALM SPRINGS: JAKE HOLT

:

“When it comes to springtime jewelry, I like pieces that embrace the season in an imaginative way—which is why I love this 18-karat-gold Bee Link bracelet by Temple St. Clair. Its elegant honeycombinspired crosshatching is bright, fresh, and fun; plus, it’s topped with a tiny diamond-dotted bee, adding just the right amount of buzz to a beautiful piece.”


W H AT T H E E D I T O R S

NG ABOUT THIS MONTH

:

“As a dog lover, I might be partial to celebrating our most loyal friend, but this pairing should inspire happy wags from any s Scotch-and-cigar aficionado. To honor S the Chinese New Year and usher in the Year Y of the Dog, Johnnie Walker is offering its Blue Label Scotch in a beautifully illustrated bottle starring a shar-pei. Davidoff has created a special-edition D Gran Churchill cigar for the occasion, occasion G whose pepper and caramel notes comw plementt the smoky, raisin sweetness of p the whisky.” —JANICE O’LEARY

E 8 CANIN COMP PANIONS YEAR OF THE DOG LIMITED EDITIONS

10 MEET ME G I O R G I O A R M A N I LU X U RY D E N I M C O L L E C T I O N

:

“February is a tricky time for fashion, as the linen shirts and lightweight jackets stocking shelves are usually at odds with the dreary weather outside. That said, Giorgio Armani’s luxe new denim collection, with its tailored take on typically casual pieces, helps bridge the gap. Layer the creamy white Japanese selvedged-denim jacket ($1,495) under a parka for now, and wear the white-on-white ensemble on its own for a bold statement once the temperatures start to rise.” —PHOEBE NEUMAN

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M I A M I YA C H T S H O W O N C O L L I N S AV E N U E

:

“Formerly Yachts Miami Beach, the Miami Yacht Show on Collins Avenue is celebrating its 30th edition with a new name and a new layout. This year’s 1.2-million-square-foot in-water event splashes February 15 through 19, across from the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels on the famed Miami Beach stretch. For superyacht lovers, Island Gardens Deep Harbour marina on Watson Island hosts the show’s largest yachts—up to 500 feet.” —DANIELLE CUTLER

MIAMI: FOREST JOHNSON

9 GOOD JEANS

IN MIAMI


INTRODUCING THE FIRST-EVER LEXUS LC 500 WHAT STARTED AS PURE CONCEPT, LAUNCHED A NEW ERA OF PERFORMANCE AND DESIGN. The LC 500 is a collection of visionary ideas. 10-speed Direct-Shift transmission. Near-perfect weight distribution. An innovative suspension system that defies conventional logic, accommodating available 21-inch wheels* within a ground-hugging profile. The LC is also an uncompromising approach to design. Although the first seat design was technically perfect, it was the 50th prototype that had the exact fit and feeling to complement the unique LC driving experience. This intense dedication to craftsmanship and innovation results in a level of refinement you’ve never felt. A sound you’ve never heard. And a feeling you have yet to experience. Introducing the first-ever 5.0-liter V8 Lexus LC 500 and Multistage Hybrid LC 500h. Experience the future of Lexus. Experience Amazing. lexus.com/LC | #LexusLC

Options shown. *21-in performance tires are expected to experience greater tire wear than conventional tires. Tire life may be substantially less than 15,000 miles, depending upon driving conditions. ©2017 Lexus


FREEWHEELING FURY CONCEPT:

SAMURAI MOTORCYCLE

Although almost a reality, the Samurai motorcycle concept from Artem Smirnov and Vladimir Panchenko is a two-wheel titan for tomorrow— a machine that mirrors the mise-enscène of Blade Runner rather than

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DESIGNER:

A R T E M S M I R N O V A N D V L A D I M I R PA N C H E N K O

contemporary style cues. And much like that futuristic film, the one-of-a-kind cruiser carries a distinctly Asian aesthetic. “My vision was very influenced by the Japanese approach to industrial design,” says Smirnov.

ODDS OF PRODUCTION:

“Nothing superfluous.” For Smirnov, the all-electric example is also a personal expression of freedom. “Before becoming a freelancer, I worked at a studio and had to listen to the opinion of authorities who were

THE FUTURE IS NOW distant from design,” says the Belarusbased creative. “This whole project was made in my spare time and for myself.” It’s a declaration of independence that imparts new meaning to the term autonomous vehicle. —VIJU MATHEW


B E T A

AN INSIDE TRACK ON THE POSSIBLE AND PROBABLE FUTURE

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BETA

GOLDEN CHASE BOAT CONCEPT:

DUNE SUPER TENDER

A 196-foot-long, open-bow boat may sound like the stuff of dreams, but Barcelona-based Eugeni Quitllet has come up with a design to turn the fantasy into reality. His one-of-a-kind concept, Dune, is the world’s first “super tender,” with features from leading motor-yacht and sailboat designs. Dune is intended to be the

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DESIGNER:

EUGENI QUITLLET

ODDS OF PRODUCTION:

ultimate chase boat for an even larger gigayacht, but its six staterooms below deck make it just fine for cruising on its own. The upper deck is pure sci-fi, with matching seats and helm stations plated in rose gold and protected by a sloping teak deck that’s shaped—of course—like a dune. Behind the helm, another curved entrance

IT MIGHT BE JUST A MIRAGE

inspired by the Sydney Opera House gives entry to the saloon, galley, and staterooms below. The master suite and guest cabins are finished in gold. Under the waterline, Dune’s Azimuth propulsion system includes two rotating pods that deliver exceptional maneuverability for a 200-footer. Apart from the two

sculpted lounges in front of the helm, Quitllet left the foredeck empty. “I wanted the owner and guests to feel as free as possible in the middle of the ocean landscape,” he says. He estimates that build costs, including the precious materials, will approach $70 million. —MICHAEL VERDON


BETA

SELF-HEALING HYPERCAR L A M B O R G H I N I T E R Z O M I L L E N N I O D E S I G N E R : L A M B O R G H I N I A N D T H E M A S S A C H U S E T T S I N S T I T U T E O F T E C H N O LO G Y P R O D U C T I O N : M AY M AT E R I A L I Z E I N T H E T H I R D M I L L E N N I U M

CONCEPT: ODDS OF

A truly dynamic duo, Automobili Lamborghini and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have partnered to explore innovations in materials and mobility that they hope to eventually unveil in a concept called Lamborghini Terzo Millennio. As the name suggests, both institutions are working with a rather flexible timeframe—before the third millennium is through. The all-electric vehicle—with motors at each wheel—is envisioned to feature a new direction in aerodynamic design, a state-of-the-art autonomous driving experience, and supercapacitors to optimize power output. In addition, its proposed carbon-fiber body will not only serve as a reservoir for reserve energy but also have the ability to diagnose structural damage and conduct its own repairs via arteries filled with restorative chemicals. A regenerative raging bull? Bellissimo! —VIJU MATHEW

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sunseeker.com

PURE EXHILARATION The new Predator 74

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BETA H2 GO CONCEPT:

ALPHA

DESIGNER:

The popularity of electric bicycles that add extra power to your pedals has risen steadily in recent years, offering riders a convenient and green form of alternative transportation. But as with an electric car, when an e-bike’s battery runs out it must be plugged in for several hours to return to a full charge. French fuel-cell company Pragma Industries hopes to alleviate this problem with its Alpha bicycle, which runs on hydrogen gas (H2)—producing

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PRAGMA INDUSTRIES only water and heat as by-products—and can be topped off in less than a minute at a refueling station. A full tank will power the bike for a little more than 60 miles (farther than a single charge on most e-bikes), but the distance can be extended indefinitely with filling stations along the route. The bike is equipped with a 250-watt Brose motor to help it reach speeds of up to 20 mph. A 4.4-pound aluminum hydrogen tank is

ODDS OF PRODUCTION:

IF YOU BUILD THE INFRASTRUCTURE, THEY WILL COME

stored in the down tube. Until now, Pragma has focused most of its attention on producing the Alpha for commercial use in Europe. The company does anticipate launching in the United States in the near future, but the biggest hurdle—one that has sidelined hydrogen cars as well—is lack of infrastructure. Until the recharging stations are in place, the dream of zipping through traffic on a hydrogen bicycle will have to wait. —JOHN LYON


“Start the conversation … I personally welcome your call.” — Martin

B E V E R L Y

H I L L S

N E W

Y O R K

B E R G D O R F

G O O D M A N

5.18ct and 5.02ct Pear Shaped Diamonds, each topped with 4 round brilliant diamonds ranging from 0.41cts to 1.01cts and microset with 4 diamonds, all set in Platinum. ©2017. Martin Katz, LTD.


Genius at Work

Culinary Artist A night with celebrated Southern chef Sean Brock as he tries for tasting-menu perfection at MCCRADY’S in Charleston. By Steven Tingle Photography by Peter Frank Edwards

in Charleston, S.C., is the realization of chef Sean Brock’s decades-long desire to orchestrate the best dining experience imaginable. Through multiple courses, Brock surprises, challenges, and captivates guests with bold combinations, layers of complex flavors, and an almost fanatical attention to detail. “I’m obsessed with every minute that the guest has in this room,” he says. As the visionary behind several critically acclaimed restaurants, including Husk, McCrady’s Tavern, and Minero, Brock is redefining regional cooking throughout the Southeast. But it is at the 22-seat restaurant within a restaurant in McCrady’s where he really lets his passion and creativity run wild. “This is playtime for me,” he says. “Just selfish playtime.” 48

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1

E

he tasting-menu experience at McCrady’s

Amuse-Bouche Brock immerses the diner right away, with a trio of hors d’oeuvres. “We’re going to start the meal with three bites that will hit you with a pop, pop, pop.”


A Taste of History The menu celebrates and elevates heritage staples like Carolina Gold, the grandfather of long-grain rice in the South.

E

E

E

5

6 Creating Cohesion

“I flavor a dish to work with the flavor that’s still in your mouth from the previous one to create specific emotions.”

3

Audacious Flavors Brock plays with depths of complexity in the savory broth surrounding a seared scallop.

7

E

Team Effort The highly trained and tight-knit staff, many of whom have worked with Brock for several years, move with choreographed precision throughout the evening. “It’s like a play. Everything is planned to the minute.”

Delicate Artistry With hushed voices, Brock and his staff plate with tweezers, ensuring that the open kitchen remains quiet and serene. “Our responsibility in this room is to create an anti-stress environment.”

E

2

E

4

Personal Connection Brock thrives on creating a bond with the guests. “We are hardwired for connection. That’s what we crave as humans, and food does that for us. This is really about nurturing souls.”

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MICHAEL VENERA

vintage


Galle

C U LT I VAT E D D E S I G N AT T R I N C H E R O N A PA VA L L E Y ' S N E W TA S T I N G R O O M Interior designer Erin Martin’s style was Restoration Hardware before there even was a Restoration Hardware. In fact, executives at that company continue to try to recruit her to their creative ranks. But Martin resists, enjoying the many clients she’s cultivated in Northern California— particularly Napa Valley. Her latest project was to redesign the tasting room at Trinchero Napa Valley (trinchero napavalley.com), a sprawling tract of acreage just north of St. Helena covered in rows of Cabernet Sauvignon vines that hug country lanes. The owners— members of one of Napa’s most prominent winemaking families, who got their start there in the 1940s—wanted the 5,000-square-foot tasting room to serve as the property’s centerpiece. Martin accomplished this aim, creating one room for walk-in tasters and a second for private appointments. Both areas are equally striking. French-oak floors exude warmth and welcome, while the modern, rustic decor of the walk-in space nods to country life with a taxidermic birdin-flight installation. A handpainted ceiling of the zodiac and wall drawings depicting the perfect formula for making wine add touches of mysticism and science, respectively. Behind the tasting counter, books rather than bottles line the wall— a tribute to cofounder Mary Trinchero’s love of reading. The entrance to the exclusive Legacy Lounge sports a sliding eye-level window as a reminder of cofounder Mario Trinchero’s start working for a Prohibition-era speakeasy in New York. Inside, glamorous touches abound. A hand-tooled, tufted leather wall and ceiling define the bar, whose backlighting showcases special bottles. A cozy fireplace flanked by leather chairs lures visitors in one direction, while in another, leather banquettes beckon with practical support for bags in the form of 1960s leather animal stools. The many light fixtures were a collaboration between Mick Handley and Martin, whose instincts yield a space that honors the owners’ past while embracing new generations exploring fine wine with family and friends. —JANICE O’LEARY

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GALLERY

B M W A N D N A U T O R ’ S S WA N L E T C R E AT I V I T Y S A I L W I T H A O N E - O F - A - K I N D C A R

swan drive

chrome work and silver plating highlight the sedan’s Damask Red paint (a deep metallic wine color), and the entire Nautor’s Swan logo is welded onto the brake calipers. Inside, the swan logo’s signature S is embroidered on the front headrests and on the rear seats’ plush leather pillows. Hand-assembled, slatted floor mats feature the same oak found inside the company’s yachts, while the trunk’s teak-lined floor mimics the deck of a sailboat. Each slat is joined with thin strips of rubber that flex with temperature changes and the car’s movement, thus

protecting the pliable wood’s integrity. The Nautor’s Swan version of the M760Li xDrive was developed to demonstrate the capabilities of BMW’s customization team. Over the past two and a half decades, BMW Individual has produced hundreds of one-off cars through BMW Individual Manufaktur, a small operation based in Garching, Germany. Mathias Babel, head of the Exclusive Customer Advisory division of BMW Individual, works with customers to design their dream cars. “Anything is possible,” he says. “It’s just a matter of price and time.” —LAURA BURSTEIN

J. KONRAD SCHMIDT

Twenty-five years ago, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld asked BMW to install a fax machine in his car. That request reportedly marked the beginning of BMW Individual, a vehiclecustomization program aimed at the carmaker’s most discerning customers. Now, BMW Individual has partnered with Nautor’s Swan, the Finnish builder of luxury yachts, for its latest one-off creation. The Nautor’s Swan M760Li xDrive (bmwusa.com) is based on BMW’s top-of-the-line, factory-built 7 Series model with a purring 610 hp V-12 engine. Bright

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CALIBER RM 037

RICHARD MILLE BOUTIQUES ASPEN • BAL HARBOUR • BEVERLY HILLS • BUENOS AIRES • LAS VEGAS • MIAMI • ST. BARTH • TORONTO


GALLERY

I W C R E S U R R E C T S O N E O F I T S M O S T FA S C I N AT I N G H I S T O R I C A L C R E AT I O N S

running numbers the most intriguing watch in the brand’s comprehensive 150th-anniversary collection, the new IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years” (iwc.com) celebrates an obscure and not entirely successful entry in the company’s history. “Our brief was to be very, very close to the displays and look of the old Pallweber watches,” says Stefan Ihnen, technical director at IWC, “but to create them with absolutely modern technique.” First commercialized by IWC in the 1880s, the original Pallweber system—named for the Austrian father-and-son team that invented it—was one of the first attempts to create an entirely digital display for a mechanical pocket watch. While popular at first, the instantly jumping numbered disks under the dial proved difficult to manufacture and enormously power hungry. Initial models could barely run for 24 hours before rewinding. “We have a lot of the old pieces in our museum, and they are not at all on the level that a customer expects today,” Ihnen acknowledges. He found an engineering solution to the energy issue by creating a completely separate power source for the new watch’s displays. A second barrel—wound simultaneously with the first via the crown—releases energy to turn the disks each minute once triggered by a lever-and-cam mechanism. The system offers a power reserve of 60 hours, and since the regulator is isolated from the going train, it is unaffected by the sudden bursts of power from the system. Ihnen and his team have modernized the bearings underneath the displays to reduce friction, but with the new power system the improvements are almost superfluous. The original Pallweber watches were eventually discontinued once their novelty had faded away. Hopefully, the combination of historical appeal and latter-day ingenuity in the new 250-piece Pallweber Edition (approximately $36,600) will earn it a longer stay in the imagination of today’s collectors. —JAMES D. MALCOLMSON

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GALLERY

R I VA H A S M O L D E D I T S L AT E S T YA C H T I N T O A V E S S E L F O R T H E G O O D L I F E

shipshape

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Set to launch this month, the Riva 110 Dolcevita (riva-yacht .com) boasts a 26-knot hull that makes the yacht unusually fast for its size. But every curve and line of the vessel’s elegant profile has been so carefully designed that the Dolcevita is clearly more than just another fast superyacht. Mauro Micheli and Sergio Beretta of Officina Italiana Design collaborated with the Ferretti Group to create an exterior that promotes the good life without compromising that elegant contour. The foredeck has a massive sun bed and lounge, with an optional Jacuzzi concealed under a pad so that the yacht retains

a seamless look on the bow. Contrasts in the white furniture, black hard top, and beige natural-teak decks distinguish the flybridge, and the electronic console, which lifts from a panel at the helm station, adds a certain wow factor. Highlights in the openplan main saloon include floor-to-ceiling windows, glass on the ceiling that runs the length of the room, and impeccable wood cabinets. And the stern offers a technical advantage: The swim platform submerges and lets water into the garage so that the tender simply floats off, rather than forcing someone to manhandle it. —MICHAEL VERDON


A N E N G I N E E R E D F E AT F O R A S E AT

MICHAEL AUSTEN

GALLERY

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curve appeal With a sinuous body deserving of double takes, the Essence of Strength Chaise Longue (starting at $69,000; essenceofstrength .co.uk) first appears as a stunning if not elegantly bonkers scribble that leapt straight from concept to construction, sidestepping the typical design checkpoints. It also gives the rest of the furniture in the house an inferiority complex. Conceived by industrial designer Kristian Arens, who cofounded the British furniture brand with engineer Clive Johnson, the dynamic piece owes nearly everything to carbon fiber. The company’s use of the lightweight but durable material is in keeping with its design manifesto: “We aim always to push design and structural tolerances in order to produce pieces of furniture that would simply not be possible using more traditional materials.” Inspired by Arens’s passion for the sea, the limited-edition chaise longue—finished with handstitched leather—resembles rolling waves. Achieving such a fluid shape is a highly technical proposition. “Carbon is the ideal material to do this with,” says Arens. “You can have superthin profiles but still manage to cantilever the design due to the strength of the carbon. The chaise has to be engineered to deliver exact flex, bounce, and rock that results in a movement that feels exceptional.” It takes more than 2 months to create one chaise. Each example is customizable, from leather options to the weave pattern seen in the finished, undulating design. —ARIANNE NARDO

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A D E S I G N E R ’ S F I R S T S T O R E O F F E R S LU X U R I O U S C LO T H I N G F O R A S P O R T Y L I F E

casual

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Menswear designer Brett Johnson’s (brettjohnson.co) personal sneaker collection hovers around 700 pairs, and his latest acquisitions—refined suede-and-leather models from Berluti, Brunello Cucinelli, and Tom Ford—are a departure from the hip athletic models he once chased. Interestingly, Johnson’s shifting taste in sneakers mirrors his progression as a designer, from sporty to casual elegance. The 28-year-old, who started dabbling in fashion nearly 5 years ago with sporty clothing items, opened his first concept store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood last fall. Stocked with his full range of elegant luxury clothing, outerwear, and knitwear, the space is also appointed with wood-and-Lucite furnishings that he helped design and are available by special order. “I want people to feel like they are walking into my home, or really my closet,” says Johnson, who most days can be found in the store welcoming clients and offering wardrobe advice. “I like to share the story of how and where the clothes are made with customers.” Indeed, it was craftsmanship that drew Johnson into the fashion business. Growing up, he vacationed often in Europe with his family (his parents, Sheila and Robert Johnson, founded Black Entertainment Television in 1979), gaining an appreciation for Italian clothes and craft— which eventually prompted him to seek out small workshops in and around Florence to produce his garments and knitwear. “My clothes work in the city or the country,” says Johnson, who divides his time between New York City and his weekend home in the Virginia countryside. His personal style is casual and sporty—evidenced by such ensembles as a checked double-breasted gray sport coat, comfortable gray velour trousers, and gray suede sneakers—and his brand follows suit, with luxe-casual items that include a double-breasted wooland-cashmere bomber jacket, drawstring wool trousers, and a trucker-style jacket made of ultrathin calfskin. And while Johnson’s personal style has evolved, he continues to build his sneaker collection: “An elegant sneaker enhances the look of my sportswear.” —JILL NEWMAN

MARK MANN

GALLERY


THE UR-105 CT HOUR SATELLITE INDICATION WITH AUTOMATIC WINDING REGUL ATED BY TURBINES W W W.URWE RK.COM

UR-105 CT


GALLERY

R I T Z - C A R LT O N L A N D S O N T H E I D Y L L I C S A N D S O F T H A I L A N D

gilding the lily

Koh Samui—Thailand’s mellow island alternative to lively Phuket—has a new paradise on its picture-perfect shores. The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui (ritzcarlton .com) opened in October on 58 beachfront acres, not far from Wat Phra Yai, the colorful temple known for its golden Big Buddha. Though the resort is rife with the brand’s trademark

high-gloss style—spacious suites, manicured gardens, polished service, and all—it also incorporates the spirit of its gilded neighbor with traditional touches like stilthouse-style villas dressed in carved teak furnishings and natural stone. Along with the requisite luxuries (including a 40,000-square-foot Spa Village), the 175-room property incorporates the local scene into its everyday experiences, too. Guests can train with a Muay Thai champion in the boxing ring, swim with more than 50 species of fish in the private reef, and dig into pad thai and sukiyaki at the on-site street market. —ROBIN CHERRY

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THE FUT URE OF TIME OPTIMIZATION

THE BECKER CADILLAC ESCALADE ESV

CR AFTSMANSHIP | TECHNOLOGY | PRODUCTIVITY B E C K E R AU T O D E S I G N . C O M | 805.487.5227 ©2018 Becker Automotive Designs, Inc.


GALLERY

A N U N F O R G E T TA B L E B O T T L I N G F R O M B O R D E A U X ’ S L E F T B A N K

centennial

crush Unique among châteaux in France’s Médoc region, Cos d’Estournel contrasts dramatically with its neighbors’ more conventional architecture thanks to majestic, pagoda-shaped turrets that rise above its palm trees and intricately carved walls. This Asian influence continues inside, where decorative carvings feature the elephant, an emblem of strength, memory, and wisdom. The wine is no less distinct, as it is crafted from a surprisingly diverse terroir. Founded in 1811 by Louis Gaspard d’Estournel— who, as a result of his predilection for Indian-inspired motifs, was known as the Maharajah of Saint-Estèphe— the estate now comprises 61 separate plots, or crus, all of which flourish under the direction of the present owner, hotelier Michel Reybier. One of these blocks serves as the source of a rare new release: Cos100 (estournel .com), a single-varietal wine created to celebrate the Parcelle des Femmes, a revered section of 100-year-old Merlot vines that were planted in 1915 by women during World War I. The 2015 vintage of this singular Merlot will stand on its own in a special bottling to be released this month. Just 100 double magnums ($21,600) are available, each numbered and bottled by hand and engraved with a delicate inscription in place of a label. Two 12-liter Balthazars of Cos100 will go to auction—one on February 28 at the Rainbow Room in New York City, and a second in Hong Kong at Sevva restaurant on March 10. Wise bidders will cellar this tightly structured yet velvety wine long enough to allow its subtler, more seductive characteristics to emerge. —JANICE O’LEARY

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PA

N

Y

KO

WWW.PERRINPARIS.COM

TOKYO


GALLERY

T H E R E VA M P E D T R O U T B E C K E S TAT E LU X U R I AT E S I N I T S B O O K I S H PA S T

literary

forested hills and dells. “You can feel the interest in nature, literature, and social justice of the place,” Champalimaud says. Her design approach blends the unpretentious intellectual salon vibe of Benton and Spingarn with modern concepts of comfort and luxury. Keeping Troutbeck’s beautiful patina and adding modern color, Champalimaud conjured “a gathering of generations of furniture,” where Deco rugs, chesterfield sofas, 1960s-style lighting, nature-inspired art, and modern Marcel Breuer and Hans Wegner chairs mingle with her own designs. Equally inviting is the service, “like being at someone’s country estate,” Champalimaud says. There is skiing, shooting, fishing, hiking, a top-notch restaurant from chef Marcel Agnez, art exhibits, and more. But, says the designer, “what’s glamorous about the place is its inner beauty.” And the restoration and renovation continues at Troutbeck. The property’s revamped circa-1760 Century Lodge opened in December as a private four-bedroom, four-bath cottage with a living room and a dining room for 10. A movement studio will open soon as well. —JORGE S. ARANGO

PAUL BARBERA

elements

“We didn’t make it contemporary, hip, and cool,” says designer Alexandra Champalimaud of her most recent hotel project. Coming from a tastemaker of her caliber, such a disclosure is especially refreshing— an assurance that the property’s interiors will not be templated. Champalimaud is, after all, a master at reimagining august dowager hotels for the modern traveler while preserving the essence that gave them relevance and meaning in their day; witness, for example, Manhattan’s Waldorf Astoria, Los Angeles’s Hotel Bel-Air, London’s Dorchester, and the soon-to-be-revealed Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The designer’s latest—the quietly luxurious, under-the-radar Troutbeck (troutbeck.com)—is a 45-acre estate in Amenia, New York, boasting 37 guest rooms and nine suites. The 18th-century homestead of poet and naturalist Myron Benton—and later of publisher, poet, and botanist Col. Joel Elias Spingarn (a founder of the NAACP)—it is a Duchess County site well known to lettered greats. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ernest Hemingway, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt, Sinclair Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr., and other luminaries have traipsed Troutbeck’s

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GALLERY IN BRIEF

born-again beauty Inspired by one of the late Carroll Shelby’s famed fastbacks, Classic Recreations founder Jason Engel has flexed his own automotive muscle with the GT500CR Classic Shelby Mustang (classic-recreations.com). Each commissioned car is constructed from a donor Ford Mustang fastback (model years 1965 through 1968) and carries a 545 hp, 7-liter Crate V-8. The interior pairs ’60s hallmarks—such as a wood-grain steering wheel with aluminum spokes and a dashboard signed by Shelby himself—with touches of today, including optional GPS tracking. Every finished example has its serial number entered in the official Shelby registry. Pricing starts at $179,000. —VIJU MATHEW

driven to succeed

the italian job Tracing the origins of any sophisticated Italian design usually leads to a charming studio or a centuries-old factory. The striking new Coup de Foudre collection from Patrizia Garganti (starting at $2,988; patrizia garganti.com) has just such an Italian backstory—in three parts. Designer Roberto Lazzeroni, the mastermind behind the chic series, is based in Pisa. All of the glass—in clear, amber, or satin—is handblown on the Venetian island of Murano. And every piece, brass-and-aluminum structure included, is assembled by hand at the Patrizia Garganti headquarters in Florence. Various models and finish options are available.

The new Sonus Faber Aida floor-standing stereo speakers may look similar to their universally praised 2011 predecessors, but they use a completely new driver system that borrows the best features from the Italian hi-fi manufacturer’s other top-of-the-line offerings while adding some novelties of its own. Each speaker houses a dome tweeter, a midrange driver, a pair of woofers, and a super-low-frequency infra woofer—all powered by neodymium-magnet motors—within its curved okoume-wood cabinet. In an effort to eliminate vibration, Sonus Faber equipped the speakers with dampers, a special suspension, damp shelves to stiffen the cabinet, and a host of other systems to ensure undistorted sonic clarity. The speakers are priced at around $98,600 per pair and are available with either a red or a wenge finish. —JOHN LYON

couture cask

—ARIANNE NARDO

to a tee Opened in August at the Lodge at Pebble Beach, Fairway One at the Lodge (pebblebeach.com) is a golfer’s fantasy retreat, offering views of the legendary coastal course and sporting details (like leather club chairs, timber beams, and wood-burning fireplaces) by the San Francisco–based design team at Hirsch Bedner Associates. The property’s 30 rooms and two cottages are the latest phase of a grand centennial celebration, which will coincide with the 2019 U.S. Open, hosted by the Pebble Beach Golf Links. —PHOEBE NEUMAN

Revered Spanish leather house Loewe has partnered with one of Spain’s premier wineries, Bodega Numanthia, to produce a sleek, calf-leather-wrapped barrel of the 2016 vintage of Termanthia (termanthia@moethennessy.com). Buyers can personalize the 225-liter cask (from about $114,000) with their initials and choice of color, and along with its well-aged and balanced contents, it will be delivered beginning this month in 750 mL, magnum, 5-liter jeroboam, or 12-liter Balthazar formats. The prized wine is crafted from the fruit of a single plot of 120-year-old vines of Tinta de Toro, a rare varietal indigenous to Spain. —JANICE O’LEARY

For several years, Aerion Corporation (aerionsupersonic.com) has been a leader in the small pack of companies determined to bring back civilian supersonic flight. Its ideas are boosted by an alliance with Airbus, the deep pockets of Aerion chairman Robert Bass, and a patented wing design that promises to maximize efficiency. In December, the company said it plans to develop its AS2 supersonic jet with its new partner, Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin (lockheedmartin.com) brings a long history of aviation experience to the deal, with a résumé that includes several supersonic fighter jets—the F-16, F-35, and F-22—as well as the uniquely fast and beautiful Mach 3+ SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft. Bass said the new relationship will spawn a “supersonic renaissance.” The two companies plan to spend the next year working out a framework on all phases of the program, including engineering, certification, and production. If they can bring the jet to market, it will be the first supersonic civilian airplane since the demise of the Concorde in 2003. —MARY GRADY

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SONUS FABER: EMANUELE TORTORA; FAIRWAY ONE: NOAH WEBB

supersonic quest


Curios /Auctions & Fairs BY ANGELA M. H. SCHUSTER

A Surreal World $2 million–$3.38 million “With its clear, crisp hyperrealist execution and its compelling subject that plays upon the conceptual ideas of artifice, illusion, and representation, René Magritte’s oil on canvas Les signes du soir (1926) epitomizes one of the fundamental themes of the artist’s work: the notion of a picture within a picture,” says Olivier Camu, deputy chairman of impressionist and modern art at Christie’s. The rare early canvas, which was included in the artist’s breakthrough one-man show in 1927, headlines the house’s Art of the Surreal sale in London on February 27. christies.com

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Curios /Auctions & Fairs

An Estimate Upon Request “The 1964 Le Mans–winning Ferrari 275P is one of the most important cars

ever to come to auction,” says Matthieu Lamoure, managing director of Artcurial Motorcars, of the last factory Ferrari to win the legendary 24-hour endurance race. It hails from the famed Pierre Bardinon Collection and carries an unpublished estimate in the region of $36 million. In addition to this spectacular spider (#0186), Artcurial’s Rétromobile sale in Paris on February 9 will include a 1938 Bugatti 57C Atalante Coupé, more modestly tagged at $3.5 million to $4 million. artcurial.com

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“Art is a reflection on life. . . . It’s always in a state of flux.” — E L A NAT S U I

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Sling-Shots Lit #6 $20,000–$30,000 Robert Rauschenberg’s limited-edition 11-color lithograph and assemblage, published by Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles, is among the contemporary works heading to the block at Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) on February 25. Number 17 of an edition of 25, the work consists of a wooden light box with sailcloth, Mylar, aluminum, a moveable window-shade system, Plexiglas bars, and a fluorescent light fixture. lamodern.com

Souvenir du Portugal $24,150–$48,300 “Through his paintings, Moses Levy invites us to experience the joy of life along the shores of the Mediterranean—from the beaches of Viareggio to Tunisia,” says Déborah Teboul, head of sale at Tajan. On February 8, the Parisian house is offering Levy’s 1916 oil on canvas in Moses Levy: The Colors of the Mediterranean, a dedicated sale of 48 works by the Tunisian School founder. tajan.com

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Curios /Auctions & Fairs

Riga Sequence $40,00–$67,800 “El Anatsui’s carved wooden works of the 1990s are some of his most powerful and intense pieces,” says Giles Peppiatt, director of African art at Bonhams in London, adding that this 15-part 1995 wooden abstraction leads the house’s Africa Now sale on February 28. The market for works by the Ghanaian artist—who is notable for his transformation of discards from daily life such as bottle caps and scraps of metal and wood into rich tapestries reminiscent of European brocades and African kente cloth—has been on the rise in recent years, with a half dozen of his works crossing the $1 million mark at auction since May of 2013. bonhams.com

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Le Village bleu $2 million– $3.4 million Highlights of the Impressionist & Modern Art sale at Sotheby’s in London on February 28 include this oil on canvas by Marc Chagall (1955–59) and René Magritte’s Cielbouteille (1940), a glass bottle painted with clouds, estimated at $813,000 to $1.2 million. Of the latter, says James Mackie, head of the impressionist and modern art department at Sotheby’s in London, “It belongs to a rare group of just 25 painted glass bottles Magritte executed over the course of his career, and it remained in the Belgian artist’s possession until his death in 1967.” sothebys.com

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A rare Art Deco bronze by Paul Manship depicting the zodiac sign Sagittarius hits the block at James D. Julia Auctioneers in Fairfield, Maine, on February 8. The bronze is a study for one of the 85 constellations adorning the artist’s monumental rotating Celestial Sphere (1936–39), which graces the grounds of the United Nations in Geneva. jamesdjulia.com

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Sagittarius $500,000–$700,000

A Cavern Beneath the Coastal Ice Cliffs $14,000–$20,000 A blue-toned image taken by Australian photographer and adventurer Frank Hurley in Adélie Land during Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911–14) is among the highlights of the Travel & Exploration sale at Bonhams in London on February 7. The shadowy figure at its center is Leslie Whetter, a surgeon on the scientific expedition, which was notable for its achievements in elucidating the geology, glaciation, and terrestrial biology of the White Continent as well as for finding the first meteorites there. bonhams.com

Golden Pheasants $10,800–$16,300 Among the objets de vertu up for auction in the 450-plus-lot Gentleman’s Library sale at Bonhams on February 14 is a pair of 9-karat-gold Sheffield pheasants, realistically modeled as a cock and hen. Made in 1996, the lovebirds bear a maker’s mark of GWS. Other highlights include telescopes and globes, hunting-genre paintings, and a host of accoutrements forged in precious metals. bonhams.com

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Powerhouse Mechanic $70,000–$100,000 On February 15, Swann Auction Galleries in New York presents Icons and Images, a sale of important photographs and photo books. Notable lots include this Lewis W. Hine silver print (ca. 1921); Moonrise over Hernandez, New Mexico (1941), a silver print by Ansel Adams; and a charming oversize silver print, Carrefour Blois (1930/printed 1978), by André Kertész. swanngalleries.com

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Curios /The Collector

TEXT

PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

ANGELA M.H. SCHUSTER

BERTRAND LIMBOUR

“I take great joy in being surrounded by art and being inspired by art, and it is that great joy I wish to share.” —A X E L V E RVO O R DT

“I just knew this statue was

destined to be here,” says Axel Vervoordt of a lacquer-and-gilt-wood Song-dynasty Luóhàn, recounting its acquisition at auction more than a decade ago. “I saw a postage-stampsized image of it in the catalog and it just called out to me.” The 13thcentury seated figure represents one of the original followers of the Buddha who has attained nirvana— having followed the Eightfold Path to enlightenment—and thus has been freed from want of worldly things. Its emotional resonance may seem a bit of a paradox for the Belgian tastemaker, who over the past five decades has built a formidable reputation creating sublime spaces and building important collections for others. Yet in many ways the Luóhàn epitomizes Vervoordt’s philosophy of his craft: “My task is to eliminate the unnecessary and uncover the essence of things, to give objects a better place and to create spaces that make people happy.” The Luóhàn is one of more than three dozen works newly installed at Kanaal—a 600,000-squarefoot mixed-use art, commerce, and residential enclave on the banks of the Albert Canal, some 10 miles east of the historic heart of Antwerp, Belgium. Vervoordt unveiled the facility in late Belgian tastemaker Axel Vervoordt in front of Fusta I marro forodat (1972), a work by Antoni Tàpies.

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FOUNDATION; JEAN-PIERRE G ABRIEL

HAMANI, COURTESY OF A XEL & MAY VERVOORDT

THIS PAGE, FROM TOP: JAN LIÉGEOIS; LA ZIZ

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among the most recent are site-specific commissions by artists such as Anish Kapoor, whose massive domed crimson void At the Edge of the World (1998) is installed in a former granary at the heart of the property. “Not only is the work centrally located, it serves as the beating heart of Kanaal,” Vervoordt explains during a walkabout.

A 17th-century Japanese screen by Kano Tan’yu is paired with Lucio Fontana’s bronze orb Concetto Spaziale Natura (1959–60).

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The collection is particularly rich in postwar works by Zero artists Heinz Mack, Günther Uecker, and Otto Piene and artists associated with the Osaka-based Gutai Art Association. Among the latter are canvases by Kazuo Shiraga, Shozo Shimamoto, Saburo Murakami, and Norio Imai, as well as an important washi-paper work by Fujiko Shiraga. Vervoordt lent several pieces to the 2013 exhibitions

A Song Dynasty seated figure of a Luóhàn is among Vervoordt’s most prized possessions.

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November, after nearly 7 years of renovation, reimagination, and redevelopment undertaken with the help of his sons Boris and Dick and the Tokyo-born, Brussels-based architect Tatsuro Miki. Housed largely within the remains of a mid-19thcentury brewing and malting facility, Kanaal serves as the headquarters for Vervoordt’s multifaceted design enterprise while affording ample gallery space for selling exhibitions for artists he represents. Perhaps more important, the Kanaal campus has provided a permanent and publicly accessible venue for much of the vast art collection he and his wife May have entrusted to a family foundation after building it over the course of half a century. When asked about this latest venture, Vervoordt says, “I take great joy in being surrounded by art and being inspired by art, and it is that great joy I wish to share.” The Vervoordt holdings include more than 600 works, which span some 6,000 years of human history. The oldest objects are predynastic Egyptian makeup palettes from the early 4th millennium BC;

Signal (1968), a kinetic work in iron, aluminum, bronze, and steel by Athenian artist Takis, occupies one of eight grain silos at Kanaal.

Gutai: Splendid Playground at the Guggenheim in New York and Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949–1962 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. (It should come as little surprise that his prescience in seeing the artistic value in these works early on is paying off handsomely as the market for them continues to climb.) The interior of a 19th-century chapel at the east end of the property has been literally stripped bare, transformed into a serene reliquary for James Turrell’s monumental 1995 light work Red Shift, which until recently had been on view at the Palazzo Fortuny in Venice. A cluster of eight grain silos to the west houses individual works by artists including Takis, Angel Vergara, and Otto Boll. Among the most visually arresting spaces is within a building Vervoordt has dubbed Karnak, after the Middle and New Kingdom site on the east bank of the Nile at Luxor. It encloses a central chamber supported by nearly a dozen brutalist columns, their papyriform shape reminiscent of those supporting Egypt’s ancient temples. At Kanaal, however, these sentinel supports shelter a quartet of Mon-Dvaravati temple sculptures from the 7th and 8th centuries. The installation and adaptive reuse of this structure and all of those at Kanaal underscore Vervoordt’s approach to presentation, as well as his unending quest to find new uses for old things. Throughout the site, he has sought to emphasize an artistic counterpoint he perceives across space and time—a prime example being his pairing of spatialist Lucio Fontana’s tortured bronze orb Concetto Spaziale Natura (1959–60) with a 17th-century six-panel screen by Japanese master Kano Tan’yu. “There is a Flemish term volledig, which I use to explain how I view my life and work. It means the fullness of emptiness. For me,” says Vervoordt, “it is about keeping the very best and eliminating all but the essentials.”

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Curios/Books & Manuscripts

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“For never was a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

All the World’s a Stage $367,500 “Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies is one of the two most important works in the English language, culturally, historically, and linguistically—the other, of course, being the King James Bible,” says Christopher Sokol of London-based Sokol Books. The dealer is bringing a 1632 edition of the Bard’s seminal work to the California International Antiquarian Book Fair, which runs February 9 through 11 at the Pasadena Convention Center. In explaining the volume’s rarity, Sokol says, “It is from this version of the text, published just 16 years after the author’s death, that all modern versions derive.” sokol.co.uk; cabookfair.com

—W I L L I A M S H A K E S P E A R E , ROMEO AND JULIET

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Robert Berg of Regensburg, Germany, is presenting a rare and complete Italian edition of Abraham Ortelius’s Theatro del Mondo at the 25th edition of the Miami International Map Fair, which runs February 3 and 4. Published by Christophe Plantin (J. & B. Moretus) at Antwerp in 1612, the volume includes 162 double-page engraved maps, among them 53 plates originally published by Ortelius in 1570. bergbook .com; historymiami.org

From the New World $144,700 The seventh-century-AD Maya city of Palenque in the Mexican state of Chiapas is among the ancient sites depicted in a lavishly illustrated work chronicling three expeditions undertaken to the region by Colonel Guillaume Dupaix—in 1805, 1806, and 1807, respectively. Printed in Paris by Jules Didot in 1834, the two-volume set features 162 hand-colored sheets. It is one of the literary treasures tendered by Parisian dealer Christoph Auvermann of Librairie Clavreuil at the California International Antiquarian Book Fair this month. chauvermann@thomas-scheler.fr

Cartographic Gem $285,000

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Way Out West $50,000 “For this year’s edition of the California International Antiquarian Book Fair, we will be bringing a large photographic album with images taken during a hunting expedition in and around the Yellowstone National Park in the 1890s, which was presented to the first chancellor of Germany, Otto von Bismarck,” says Jeffrey Kerr of Shapero Rare Books in London. This privately published volume of images by Philip Leibinger includes dramatic landscapes that, according to Kerr, provide a rare glimpse of 19th-century life on the frontier of the United States, in territories that had been first explored by Europeans less than 30 years earlier. shapero.com


Our Winemakersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Journey... from vineyard, to barrel, to bottle


2018 Car of the Year

Four-Wheel

FIELD OF DREAMS

It took more than 200 Robb Report readers and 13 new sports and luxury cars—with nearly 8,000 hp combined— to decide which ride reigns as this year’s king of the road.

Photography by PAUL DIMALANTA 82

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Lamborghini

HURACÁN PERFORMANTE Lamborghini’s most powerful Huracán, and it was a revelation to the more than scores of Robb Report readers who, over the course of 10 driving sessions, weighed its merits against the official criteria of this signature competition (see “Rules of the Road,” page 101). That it took a decided victory in our 2018 Car of the Year is THE PERFORMANTE IS

testament to its sheer goodness as a driving partner. How could such a single-purpose machine—such a polarizing, flamboyant design—ingratiate itself to so many drivers, many of whom might not ordinarily be seduced by such a wild thing? We suspect the active aerodynamics, so carefully engineered into the car that it handles literally as if on rails, elevate

“There’s SpaceX, and then there is Lamborghini!” —DAVID MOSTELLER


2018 Car of the Year

driver engagement and confidence to make every curve, every straight-line blast, a laugh-out-loud experience. A forest of exclamation points punctuated the near-unanimous enthusiasm expressed by our judges, like Ron Sprengeler, who said, “There seems to be no limit of control with this car. It is truly an unbelievable driving experience!” Bill Reid enthused, “This is the best production sports car I have ever driven. The car combines incredible power with equally capable handling and suspension.” All-wheel drive, a seamless 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission, and the pure delight of a V-10 engine (with no turbo lag because it has no turbos) sucking air and spinning to 8,500 rpm make an intoxicating concoction. Rick Kinning thrice exclaimed: “Unbridled performance!” It’s difficult to describe the uncanny precision wrought by the Performante’s active aerodynamics: flaps, channels, slots, and wings that optimize airflow by moving in response to

ENGINE:

5.2-liter, naturally aspirated V-10 POWER:

640 hp @ 8,000 rpm ZERO TO 60 MPH:

2.9 sec TOP SPEED:

201 mph BASE PRICE:

$274,390 PRICE AS TESTED:

$336,385

real-time data. It had Gary Spratling speculating that “Lamborghini’s engineers must have found a way to generate an envelope of additional gravitational force that moves with the car, resulting in unprecedented surface grip and enabling otherwise impossible maneuvers.” Kalamazoo’s Russ Faulk (whose Cambozola burgers are a Car of the Year tradition) put Lamborghini’s achievement in context. “This thing is simply amazing,” he said. “I have loved all of the other Huracáns I’ve driven, but they’ve truly reached another level with the Performante.” Wesley Steffens addressed other aspects that made our gray bull such a winner, highlighting “pure luxury, meticulous attention to detail, a craftsman’s masterpiece. It’s an unfair fight!” Chef Philip Tessier, out of his kitchen and behind the wheel, was impressed by “unreal performance . . . precision, [it] makes a novice feel like an expert.” But perhaps Jodie Resnick said it best when she wrote: “#alliwantforchristmas.” —Robert Ross


2018 Car of the Year

ENGINE:

4-liter, twinturbocharged V-8 POWER:

710 hp @ 7,500 rpm ZERO TO 60 MPH:

2.8 sec TOP SPEED:

212 mph BASE PRICE:

$284,745 PRICE AS TESTED:

McLaren

720S find exquisite expression in our second-place finisher, the McLaren 720S. The lone model in the British marque’s Super Series, the rear-wheel-drive dynamo seems cut from similar engineering stone as the Lamborghini Huracán Performante, but with Michelangelo chosen to chisel. “This car is so beautiful that it’s hard to take your eyes off of,” said judge Mitch Bloom, “even in the presence of Ferraris and Lamborghinis.” The body design—defined by flowing, sinuous lines—was modeled after the great white shark and presents an organic aesthetic of elegant motion. “It looks like it’s doing 80 mph while parked,” mentioned Michael Ingram. Actual power is provided by a 710 hp, twin-turbocharged 4-liter V-8 that allows a top speed of 212 mph. And when the mid-engine monster’s launch control is activated, well, Najeeb Thomas found it “the closest experience to being an astronaut while remaining on Earth.” But not everyone found the carbon-fiber coupe so captivating, especially when it came to the cabin ergonomics. “You should get a yoga membership when purchasing this car—just so you can get in and out,” quipped Ron Sprengeler. Others felt that certain elements of the interior were less than FORM AND FUNCTION

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“This may well be the new standard by which sports cars are judged.” —MARK NEWMAN

intuitive, including, according to Maurice Haroche, “seat adjustment buttons that Einstein would still be pondering how to use if he were alive.” On the performance front, three driving modes—Comfort, Sport, and Track—and Variable Drift Control help tailor suspension and stability depending on purpose, while the electrohydraulic steering seems to redefine responsiveness. “This car must have come equipped with the telekinetic option,” noted Russ Faulk. “It seems to steer without requiring any physical input.” More than a few judges, however, were a bit jangled by the braking and used adjectives such as

“spongy,” “soft,” and “slow” when describing the carbon-ceramic system. In truth, the brakes are more tuned to the track and require greater applied pressure than the average driver is used to delivering. Press down with the same diligence in the Alfa Romeo Giulia, for example, and a whack from the windshield awaits. General consensus concerning the McLaren was that it is an automotive masterwork, one that Jonathan Borisch likened to “adrenaline on wheels.” Chad Brue was even more succinct in his assessment, saying, “Wow. Just wow.” We wholeheartedly agree. —Viju Mathew


ENGINE:

5.9-liter, twinturbocharged V-12 POWER:

580 hp @ 7,000 rpm ZERO TO 60 MPH:

3.5 sec TOP SPEED:

201 mph BASE PRICE:

$312,950 PRICE AS TESTED:

$345,771 90

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IT CAN BE ARGUED that the voluminous V-12 engine has never been more poshly presented than in the Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante. The open-top tourer we tested is from the last model year that will benefit from a naturally aspirated V-12 before it’s replaced with a twin-turbo version. But as far as final bows go, this one is brilliant. “Totally gorgeous,” gushed Russ Faulk, adding that it has a “great exhaust note that mirrors the exuberance with which you are driving. Quiet and civil when you want it to be, but you know that

growl is always ready to be let loose.” Roy Arnold’s assessment was similar: “It has all of the attributes of a great GT. Love the sound of that naturally aspirated V-12.” Crafted from aluminum and carbon fiber, the convertible would be de rigueur for the fictitious covert operative who helped make the marque a mainstay in circles of affluence and influence. “Agent 007 never looked so good,” said Scott Dillon. “A license to chill.” Barbara Palumbo was even more personal with her praise: “If this car were


Aston Martin

VANQUISH S VOLANTE

3

“A wolf in an English gentleman’s suit.” —JOHN CONOVER

a human, it would be someone I’d date.” And for Scott Rosen, it’s “the perfect car to cheat on your Lamborghini with.” A number of judges, however, were less than smitten with the interior electronics and instrumentation, considering that the Vanquish S Volante was one of the costliest cars in our competitive field. “The interior controls and displays seem dated,” opined Ed Chui. And for Taylor Merritt, “the navigation screen looks like an afterthought.” But those who weren’t enthralled were in the

minority, especially when it came to performance, which is enhanced by the 8-speed automatic transmission (with a shift-by-wire control system), a launch-control feature (rocketing the roadster from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds), and a retuned suspension. For Scott Pyles, the overall package was close to perfection: “This is truly the best of both worlds—all the power you want at any time, and pure elegance all the time. The owner of this car is in a world of their own, and they’re on top of it.” —V.M.

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2018 Car of the Year

ENGINE:

5.2-liter, naturally aspirated V-10 POWER:

540 hp @ 8,700 rpm ZERO TO 60 MPH:

3.5 sec TOP SPEED:

198 mph BASE PRICE:

$175,100 PRICE AS TESTED:

$191,350

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said Craig Kelley of Audi’s consummate roadster. The R8 is a perennial favorite of Robb Report, having won Car of the Year and Best of the Best accolades in the past. This time around, the competition takes the form of the V10 Spyder, which benefits from a subtle redesign that includes a larger front grille and a carbonfiber side scoop that replaces the full-length “side blade.” Chef Thomas Keller opined that the “sharp” design is the most desirable aspect of the sporty two-seater. About half of the car’s parts are shared with the Audi R8 LMS, a GT3-spec racecar that competed at both the fabled 24 Hours Nürburgring and the Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance races. An authentic racing pedigree enables the R8 V10 Spyder to be a formidable all-around performer, from its “smooth” and “exhilarating” power to its “tight,” “balanced,” and “precise” handling. Audi sticks with its trusty naturally aspirated V-10 and pairs it with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that Brook Margraves deemed “very responsive.” Power is sent to all four

“EVERYTHING IS DESIRABLE,”

wheels via Audi’s Quattro system for maximum traction and control. Christian Navarro said, “[I] love the four-wheel drive!” and Faheem Hasnain exclaimed, “Cornering is fantastic!” Taylor Merritt and others praised “the great exhaust note,” while several judges marveled at the Spyder’s ability to go from daily driver to all-out track car. Eric Brandt likened the R8’s versatility to the “feline family,” and noted that the car’s personality can range “from a house cat to a cheetah.” In simpler terms: “It just does everything well,” said Zane Edwards. Many judges, especially the taller ones, complained of a lack of legroom and interior space. David Saunders proclaimed, “This car is made for Lilliputians,” and Scott Rosen bemoaned, “My knees were in my chin.” With a starting price of about $175,000, Mitch Bloom called the R8 V10 Spyder “hard to beat in comparison to other supercars in its class.” Ricky Novak agreed, adding, “It’s not a bad choice for a midlife crisis if you can’t spend more than $200K.” —Laura Burstein

“So fun it can’t possibly be German.” —JULIAN SHLES


5 ENGINE:

4-liter, biturbo V-8 POWER:

550 hp @ 5,750–6,750 rpm ZERO TO 60 MPH:

3.6 sec TOP SPEED:

196 mph BASE PRICE:

$157,000 PRICE AS TESTED:

$176,395

Brian Stoffers declared of this rear-wheel-drive rocket. The GT C roadster, along with the rest of the GT family, has been fully designed, developed, and engineered by AMG, the high-performance division of Mercedes-Benz. This is the most powerful of two roadster variants, differentiated by a wider stance and vertical bars across the signature grille (also used on the AMG GT R, and inspired by the iconic 300SL gullwing and roadster of the 1950s). Many noted its “classic” styling, with a long dash-to-axle distance and proportions that hint at its rear-wheel-drive architecture. Julian Shles cited “raw power” coming from the GT C’s hand-built 4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8, which Charles Veth deemed “amazing.” Russ Faulk hailed it as “a German interpretation of a muscle car,” and

“READY, SET, LAUNCH,”

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F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 8

Mercedes-AMG

GT C ROADSTER


“This car executes the GT concept perfectly.” —GARY SPRATLING

Jim Messemer admired its “powerful, incredible craftsmanship.” Mark Newman advised that “it’s a worthy successor to the SLS Roadster and less costly,” while Tom Montgomery warned, “It scares the hell out of you and brings a smile to your face all at the same time.” Bob Berry observed that the interior is “one of the best” of all our Car of the Year competitors, and several judges noted the sporty exhaust note (Bill Reid, however, thought it sounds like “farts when changing gears”). Some complained of poor visibility due to the low seating position (Nelson Gerard said it felt like “sitting in a bathtub”), and several judges noted “hard” and “uncomfortable” seats. Nonetheless, Michael Ingram maintained that the GT C “embodies what a roadster should be.” —L.B.


6 ENGINE:

6-liter, twinturbocharged W-12 POWER:

700 hp @ 5,900 rpm ZERO TO 60 MPH:

3.4 sec TOP SPEED:

209 mph BASE PRICE:

$293,300 PRICE AS TESTED:

$317,175 CURRENTLY THE MOST powerful Bentley in production, the Continental Supersports is like an all-star linebacker on Dancing with the Stars—impressively big, deceptively quick, and impeccably dressed. “Loved the detail and drive of this car; impressed by the integration of both,” said David Bowman. For Antwane Owens, it was “a dream that delivered at both high speed and casual driving—a great daily driver, but could turn from Clark Kent to Superman in seconds.” Giving the refined four-seater its gravitas is the marque’s 6-liter, twin-turbocharged W-12 engine— with 750 ft lbs of torque—and a soundtrack that Bernard Pump described as a “baritone exhaust note, like Winston Churchill’s bulldog.” The powertrain configuration, which also includes a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission, allows the Supersports to sprint from zero to 60 mph in a blistering 3.4 seconds—a benchmark for Bentley. A few of our reviewers related that the vehicle’s 5,412-pound curb weight was a detriment to performance. Mitch Bloom felt it was “too heavy for

96

F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 8

the power delivery to equate to great handling,” while Darren Enenstein experienced “understeer on sharper turns.” Some also found that the heft hindered braking, despite the size of the carbonceramic system’s discs—the largest of their kind. For most, however, the Continental Supersports is a premier example of Bentley’s famed exclusivity and engineering, “a luxurious locomotive,” according to Violet Grgich, with what Lee Carpenter called “a devilish power plant housed in a cathedral of an interior.” But perhaps the greatest compliment was from Melinda Pentz, who put it all in perspective: “I feel pretty in this car.” And that’s worth every penny of the price. —V.M.


Bentley

CONTINENTAL SUPERSPORTS “Bentley has bridged the gap between a luxury sedan and a performance sports car, appealing to an entirely different audience.” —RANDY NICHOLS


2018 Car of the Year

HORSES FOR COURSES Thirteen cars, nearly 8,000 hp, and the open road

Judging is done by enthusiastic drivers— not automotive journalists.

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IT’S NO EXAGGERATION to say that the sports and luxury vehicles in our 2018 Car of the Year contest constitute one of the most diverse and exciting dream garages the editors have gathered for Robb Report’s annual autofest. There was something to suit every taste: a couple of supercars, three gorgeous GTs, two feisty sports sedans, two ultra-luxury four-doors, three powerful convertibles, and an American muscle car, which elicited debate louder than its 707 hp engine. It would seem that power was this year’s theme, and there were plenty of horses kicking the stalls. A total of 7,945 hp, to be precise. Had the Bugatti Chiron made its appearance as planned (forestalled due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control), total equine output would have teetered on the precipice of 10,000 hp. Power ranged from the 471 hp Lexus to the 710 hp McLaren, or an average of 611 hp per car. Fifteen years ago, the Lexus would have been at the top of the heap, yet now, 700-plus hp engines are hardly uncommon. Today’s drivers are a spoiled and entitled bunch, and carmakers are only too happy to indulge us. As with any sport, half the fun is making friendly bets on which competitor will come out on top. With 15 Car of the Year competitions under this writer’s belt, the biggest lesson learned is that one can never predict the love or hate elicited by certain automobiles. And the sheer diversity of our judges ensures that one driver’s heartthrob could be another’s heartburn. It’s a safe bet, however, that at the end of an exhausting day of driving, evaluating, and voting by our judges, every one of these 13 cars is someone’s winner. —R.R.


DAYS OF WINE AND ROADSTERS

After-hours hospitality at its best were surprised by the hospitality received at the Meadowood Napa Valley resort in St. Helena, Calif., and Florida’s historic Boca Raton Resort & Club, now a Waldorf Astoria property. Both hotels lodged our guests and served as headquarters for our 10 demanding driving sessions. When not ensconced in the supple driver’s seat of the Mercedes-AMG S65 or the cockpit of the McLaren 720S, the drivers and their companions were regaled at elegant dinners held either at the resorts or, in Napa Valley, at the properties of some of the wine partners who so liberally filled our glasses: Alpha Omega Winery, Benchmark Wine Group, CADE Estate Winery, Champagne Taittinger, Darioush, Davis Estates, Freemark Abbey, Grgich Hills Estate, Groth Vineyards & Winery, Lokoya, Metaphora Wines, Mira Winery, Vineyard 7&8, Wally’s Wine & Spirits, and Hall Napa Valley. Of course, these moments of indulgence occurred on the evening before each event and at the close of each driving day, when the judges—sobered by some rides and intoxicated by others—gathered to share their experiences and argue their individual cases for the most deserving vehicles. While the dining rooms sometimes brimmed with dissension and occasional discord, harmony always prevailed among the stemware arrayed on the tables. —Brett Anderson NONE OF THE JUDGES

RULES OF THE ROAD THIS SPREAD: MICHAEL BUCKNER AND STEWART COOK

Car of the Year machinations and judging are simple: We choose 13 cars from among the best sports and luxury offerings on the market. Why 13? Because that’s about the most cars that can be driven comfortably in a day. The model must be new, or at least offer a significant change in specifications from the previous model year. So while a Porsche Turbo S (last year’s cowinner) is a stellar automobile, it’s not new for 2018, and thus doesn’t qualify. Other new models may have been available in Europe but not yet fresh off the boat in America, which explains the absence of cars like the Ferrari 812 Superfast and Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

THE CRITERIA FOR SELECTION

Sport Turismo. Judging is done by enthusiastic drivers—not automotive journalists—and the results are tallied from 10 groups of as many as 26 drivers each, who drive in pairs. Our Napa, Calif., event hosted seven groups; Boca Raton, Fla., had three, for 202 participants in total. Each driver answered questions with a grade of A through F, rating such aspects as performance, design, suitability as a daily driver, perceived value, and more. This broad scope of questions helps to level the playing field, with a sedan theoretically gaining a higher score than a single-purpose supercar. Needless to say, there were surprises at every turn. —R.R.

R O B B R E P O R T. C O M

101


“It may be whale sized, but it’s a killer whale.” —ROY ARNOLD

BMW

M760Li xDrive declared this powerful, long-wheelbase version of BMW’s 7 Series “surprising,” and Pete Georgiadis noted “a lot of hidden smooth power in this package.” The M designation in the car’s name indicates high-performance upgrades such as a sport suspension, throatier exhaust, and improved aerodynamics, resulting in “sports-car performance in a luxury sedan that is unmatched,” according to Nick Nikolov. And unlike the Alpina B7—which appeared at last year’s Car of the Year competition—and its V-8 power plant, the M760Li xDrive employs a mighty 6.6-liter V-12 that Darlene Brandt dubbed “powerful off the line.” Chad Brue praised its “great drivability, yet [it] has a beast within.” Many mentioned the car’s “elegance” and its versatility as a daily driver. David Mosteller said, “The performance and stability, together with the comfort and safety, make it an amazing drive.” Some judges, however, likened the car to a “boat,” and Peter Li lamented that the “suspension was too soft” and he was “disappointed in the handling.” Several remarked on the car’s “comfortable” cabin. Darren Enenstein touted the “plush” interior, and Ron Sprengeler said “you could live” in the backseat. Some agreed that it’s a car to be chauffeured in. (Reza Zamani asked: “Does it come with a driver named Hans?”) Not all were impressed with the design and quality; Cheree Roberts said, “It seems dated

7

SEVERAL OF OUR JUDGES

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ENGINE:

6.6-liter, twinturbocharged V-12 POWER:

601 hp @ 5,500– 6,500 rpm ZERO TO 60 MPH:

3.6 sec TOP SPEED:

looking, inside and out.” Maurice Haroche, who admitted, “I’ve owned two prior Alpina B7s,” said he was “underwhelmed with the basic interior” of the M760Li xDrive. Chef Paul Bartolotta said this will be his car “when I am 70. Until then, I just need more fun.” —L.B.

155 mph BASE PRICE:

$153,800 PRICE AS TESTED:

$171,895


THE CAR OF THE YEAR FROM SANT’AGATA BOLOGNESE DESERVES THE FINEST TEQUILA FROM JALISCO. Congratulations, Lamborghini, on the Huracán Performante being named Car of the Year. Your simply perfect engineering deserves to be celebrated the world over.

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8 ENGINE:

6.3-liter, naturally aspirated V-12 POWER:

680 hp @ 8,000 rpm ZERO TO 60 MPH:

3.4 sec TOP SPEED:

208 mph BASE PRICE:

$298,000 PRICE AS TESTED:

$377,222

2018 Car of the Year

FERRARI’S FIRST ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE, four-seat GT—the FF—has evolved into the better-in-everyway GTC4Lusso. Along with being just plain big, it’s also big on power and performance. “Phenomenal drive!” said Faheem Hasnain. “As a Ferrari, it lives up to its reputation.” The Lusso features an ultra-luxurious interior that is more spacious than any GT has a right to be, capable of fitting four adults, with luggage, and going long distances—fast. Chef Philip Tessier poetically described his experience when he said, “The Ferrari is a precision instrument. This car gives the feel of a long and promising relationship. . . . My drive was like a first date where you can’t wait for the second one to discover more!” Fast, too, are people to critique the polarizing design. There were a few (this writer included) who really warmed up to the shooting-brake profile and practical hatchback hindquarters. Jim Allen pragmatically observed, “Finally a Ferrari that will hold three cases of wine and golf clubs.” Bernard Pump appreciated the commodious space aft of the driver, saying, “The rear seats are genuinely useful. I am 6 feet tall and I fit comfortably,” while Craig Barto rightly rationalized the Lusso as “a Ferrari that can also be justified with the grandkids.” Leveraging the power of positive thought, Barbara Palumbo—who evidently liked the Ferrari a lot—said, “I hope my next ex-husband buys me this car.”

Others philosophically weighed the pros and cons, like Zane Edwards when he observed, “[The] naturally aspirated V-12, perfect-shifting F1 transmission, and all-wheel drive work together seamlessly. Tremendous improvement over the FF. Just don’t look at the rear hatch and you have a perfect 10.” Robb Report editor in chief Brett Anderson, participating as a judge and not in his editorial capacity, was tactfully circumspect, calling the Lusso an “acquired taste.” The best things in life usually are. —R.R.

“All it needs is a ski rack—incredible handling wrapped in luxury.” —MICHAEL INGRAM

Ferrari

GTC4Lusso 106

F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 8


Mercedes-AMG

S65

“YOU KNOW YOU’VE made it when you’re behind the wheel of an S65,” said Scott Sullivan, who called it the “most luxurious sports car on the planet.” This big granddaddy of full-size luxury sedans is built from the newly updated S-Class and gets a burly V-12 engine and performance upgrades from AMG. Steve Altman dubbed it “the ideal luxury automobile with some pep,” and Steve Kris touted its “elegance and power perfectly melded with incredible performance.” Judges including Larry Mueller cited the interior design as their favorite aspect of the car, which, along with other current S-Class models, benefits from a full redesign. New equipment includes two large widescreen displays that can be controlled via touchpads on the steering wheel, as well as with more familiar knobs and buttons. Leather seats can be fashioned with what designers call placed perforations, which means the holes in the leather never overlap with the stitching. Not surprisingly, David Hurtado proclaimed, “The interior detail is phenomenal.” Many swooned over the “amazing” massage function, although some judges were torn over which seat was the best in the house. Christopher McKenna advised, “You should be driven in this, not driving it yourself,” but Jon Flint argued, “It’s so nice to drive that I may buy one and become a chauffeur for someone else.” Although most of our judges didn’t want to relinquish the wheel while testing, the newest S-Class also employs significant advancements in semiautonomous-driving technology. —L.B.

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9 ENGINE:

6-liter, twinturbocharged V-12 POWER:

621 hp @ 4,800–5,400 rpm ZERO TO 60 MPH:

4.2 sec TOP SPEED:

186 mph (limited) BASE PRICE:

$229,500 PRICE AS TESTED:

$241,295

“This car is the benchmark for luxury and comfort on the road. They didn’t leave anything out!” —PHILIP TESSIER


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2018 Car of the Year

discover a best-kept secret, and for this writer, Alfa’s Giulia Quadrifoglio is one of them. The Giulia is all about balance, as it pairs rewarding rear-wheel-drive handling dynamics and ferocious stopping power (from the optional carbon-ceramic brakes, which some judges found too sensitive and difficult to modulate). Oh, and then there’s the pint-size turbocharged terror of an engine that instantly spins to redline and belts out 505 hp. “This is the most impressive V-6 I’ve ever

EVERYONE LOVES TO

10 ENGINE:

2.9-liter, twinturbocharged V-6 POWER:

505 hp @ 6,500 rpm Z E R O -T O - 6 0 M P H :

3.8 sec TOP SPEED:

191 mph BASE PRICE:

$72,000 PRICE AS TESTED:

$87,095

driven,” enthused Russ Faulk. “It is super eager and sounds fantastic. The transmission is also great.” But opinions about overall performance and value were sharply divided, which explains the back-of-the-pack ranking of the car. Most everyone appreciated the quick, “zippy” engine, and drivers like Maurice Haroche thought the Alfa gave competitors a real run for the money, calling it “a refreshing newcomer to compete easily with the likes of BMW, Audi, and Jaguar.” Others, like Danny Pettit, found it lacking in either perceived quality or performance, saying the “whole package is rather average.” Regardless of opinion, the bright red Giulia’s Italianness was never in doubt. “[I] spoke pidgin Italian as we drove,” admitted Steve Kris. Craig Eddins suspected “there is a baby Ferrari in here trying to get out,” while John Tolbert called it an “Italian passion machine.” And while a few folks thought our fully equipped example was too pricey, others discerned real value. Bernard Pump calculated “half a Ferrari for a quarter of the price.” Mitch Bloom liked the whole package, saying, “The new Alfa Romeo delivers aggressiveness and pinpoint control/ handling. . . . Like a hunting dog, it begs for more, and delivers. Great all-in experience for the value.” A couple of our judges discovered something special in the Giulia, like Louis Guarino, who called it the “biggest surprise of the day. Italy, here I come.” —R.R.

“The first car I’ve driven all day that has truly blown me away.” —ED KINNEY

Alfa Romeo

GIULIA QUADRIFOGLIO 110

J AENBUR URY F A RY 2 02108 1 8


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2018 Car of the Year

“This car says: ‘Even though I’m in a tuxedo, don’t challenge me to a race.’ ” —NAJEEB THOMAS

11 LC500 Lexus

ENGINE:

5-liter, naturally aspirated V-8 POWER:

471 hp @ 7,100 rpm ZERO TO 60 MPH:

4.5 sec TOP SPEED:

168 mph BASE PRICE:

$92,000 PRICE AS TESTED:

$102,890

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THIS NEW GRAND-TOURING coupe from Lexus marks a fresh chapter for the brand as it tries to reach a younger generation of car buyers. While some manufacturers are simplifying their designs, Lexus goes bold with aggressive shapes and sharp creases, from the curved front grille to the menacing-looking taillights. Many judges rated the styling as their favorite aspect of the car; Brent Holden described it as a “surprisingly stunning exterior design.” Violet Grgich praised its “combo of comfort yet firm suspension” and “smooth handling,” and Jacquie Harris called it “very drivable.” But for many of our judges, the car’s performance didn’t measure up to expectations. Although it’s powered by a 5-liter, naturally aspirated V-8, Chris Carpenter said, “It’s not as responsive as you would expect,” and Bob Hekking thought it “needs more power.” Despite several accusations of being “boring,” and what Ellis O’Connor called “spongy” driving dynamics, quite a few judges surmised that it would have Lexus’s renowned “reliability,” and Carlos Vidueira cited “Lexus quality throughout.” The LC500’s central touchpad, which Lexus uses in lieu of a rotary knob or touchscreen, was polarizing. While Garrett Bland and Avrum Elmakis both said it was the most desirable aspect of the car, Phil Snyder said it was “tough to use.” The interior design also got mixed reviews: Jen Stanton said it’s “sleek and modern,” while Lisa Davis found it “a bit strange.” —L.B.


SERVICE THAT DEFINES LUXURY


2018 Car of the Year

ENGINE:

6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 POWER:

640 hp @ 6,400 rpm ZERO TO 60 MPH:

3.7 sec TOP SPEED:

200 mph BASE PRICE:

$86,495 PRICE AS TESTED:

12 $100,435

THE MOST POWERFUL Cadillac ever built is really three cars in one: a 200 mph track monster, a great canyon carver, and a perfectly reasonable daily driver. While it seats five and coddles its occupants with Recaro seats (which were too tight for some) and plenty of high-tech features, the real excitement starts under the hood and expresses itself through some good old-fashioned rear-wheel-drive power. Plenty of aerodynamic aids at the front and rear, including lots of carbon fiber, make this the most aggressively styled Caddy ever. A few drivers likened the CTS-V to a four-door Corvette, as the Caddy uses essentially the Z06 ’Vette engine (down just 10 hp) to sling gobs of torque, all voiced through a quartet of fat exhaust pipes. Brian Davis “broke the back end loose without trying,” and David Bowman likened the CTS-V to a “Detroit sucker punch.” Kris Combs unapologetically called it the “best sports sedan of them all. I didn’t expect to like this car. Power, handling, exterior boldness, at a reasonable price.” Drivers like Scott Sullivan were impressed by the value, too, observing, “You get a lot of car for the price.” Randy Nichols called it an “all-around solid car at a very reasonable price.” But with such high-end competition, especially from the Germans, the Cadillac had detractors who found finesse, fit, and finish lacking, especially on the inside. “Why can’t they make an interior that looks like an expensive car?” asked Steve Altman. “It looks so cheap.” There were plenty of negative

Cadillac

CTS-V 114

F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 8

“Bat $#*% crazy fun!”

–SEAN HAYES

references to plastic, the outgassing of which offended Mark Newman, who snorted, “Ten minutes in this car and the interior smell was making me gag.” Carlos Vidueira was more charitable, commenting that “it tries hard, but doesn’t seem to be able to overcome its Cadillac stereotype.” That stereotype included numerous references to a car built for Grandpa and Grandma, which may be more perception than reality, but suggests that there is more work to be done. —R.R.


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Dodge

CHALLENGER SRT HELLCAT WIDEBODY of the American muscle car has finally returned,” stated Najeeb Thomas after driving the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody. Indeed, that very message was the mission of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and its Street and Racing Technology (SRT) division as the company sought to develop higher power and performance across brands. The Hellcat Widebody wails with a 707 hp, 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8, and carries drag-racing-inspired enhancements that optimize engine efficiency and cooling to make it a standout at standing starts. It’s the rush this Dodge delivers that evokes memories of youth and the wonder years of reckless abandon. “I’m taken back to when I was 16, playing eight-track tapes, and going on my first date,” mentioned David Mosteller. And more than one judge succumbed to their inner adolescent. “It was the only car we could—and did—do doughnuts in,” confessed Claude Yonnet. Kids, don’t try this at home. But the Hellcat proved polarizing for our panel. “I just don’t get it at all,” admitted Beli Merdovic. Detractors cited a range of objections, from disappointment at the interior finish to difficult handling to overall styling. “Take the accountants out of the design process,” noted Jon Flint. For Reza Zamani,

“THE GOLDEN ERA

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F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 8

13 ENGINE:

6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 POWER:

707 hp @ 6,000 rpm ZERO TO 60 MPH:

3.4 sec TOP SPEED:

195 mph BASE PRICE:

$69,795 PRICE AS TESTED:

$75,585

it was “too much beast, not enough beauty,” while Cheryl Holden was a bit more diplomatic, conceding that the Hellcat “deserves a place, just not in our garage.” At least one voice was far more favorable: “I think this car delivers exactly what it promises. In fact, it overdelivers,” said Russ Faulk. “This thing is good for as many smiles per mile as the supercars in the group.” For fans of Ferrari and Lamborghini, that’s basically blasphemy. —V.M.

“If this is hell, I want to go!” –SCOTT KATZMAN


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2018 Car of the Year

JUDGES

These drivers drove the decision of our 2018 Car of the Year. David Alan

Tracy Cassady

Jeff Fields

Lucas Jones

Tom Montgomery

Julian Shles

Marcu Alexander

Cristina Cheever

Peter Fioretti

Sally Jones

David Mosteller

Jordan Sills

Jim Allen

Ed Chui

Jon Flint

Jim Jordan

Dan Moyer

Matthew Simancik

Steve Altman

Erica Chui

Philip Fusco

Scott Katzman

Larry Mueller

Adam Simms

Ronnie Amrany

Ashley Chung

Sho Fusco

Thomas Keller

Christian Navarro

Mike Sisk

Brett Anderson

Lisa Clark

Peter Gary

Craig Kelley

Patrick Nayrolles

Roger Smith

John Arigoni

Kris Combs

Pete Georgiadis

Darioush Khaledi

Jose Luis Nazar

Phil Snyder

David Arnold

Kyle Connaughton

Nelson Gerard

Ed Kinney

Mark Newman

Antoine Souma

Roy Arnold

John Conover

Bobby Ghajar

Rick Kinning

Holly Nichols

Gary Spratling

Marina Arnott

Michael Covarrubias

Mark Goldstein

Mark Komine

Randy Nichols

Ron Sprengeler

Rob Arnott

William Dakos

Ted Gravenhorst

Dov Koplovsky

Nick Nikolov

Jen Stanton

Carolyn Aronson

Brian Davis

Violet Grgich

Christopher Kostow

Ricky Novak

Wesley Steffens

Jeff Aronson

Lee Davis

Suzanne Groth

Steve Kris

Ellis O’Connor

Brian Stoffers

Syed Baqir

Lisa Davis

Louis Guarino

Joe Laux

Mike Origer

Ron Stoll

Craig Barto

Mike Davis

Jeff Haber

Kirk Ledbetter

Edvin Ovasapyan

Scott Sullivan

Paul Bartolotta

Eduard de Guardiola

Gary Hammes

Steve Leveque

Antwane Owens

Manny Tavares

Ben Bennett

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ISLES

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F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 8


AWAY

THE CASTAWAY PARADISE OF MADAGASCAR. By L AURIE WERNER


WHIRRING

OF

BLADES

THRUMMED

methodically overhead as I stepped out of the helicopter and took my first step into the jungle of Madagascar. The rhythmic buzzing pounded on my eardrums and cut through the forest like a chain saw—hardly the unobtrusive arrival one would expect on a lemur safari, but a dramatic entrance no less. Both feet planted on the ground, surrounded by a menagerie of emerald, moss, and dozens of other shades of green I had never before seen, I instinctively crouched to watch the bellowing chopper swirl back into the sky, thrashing the canopy of ferns and palms around me in the process.

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Left behind in the sudden silence of the forest, I turned my attention to the winding path just ahead, and hurriedly tiptoed after Simon Andrianiaina, the head guide at Madagascar’s recently opened Time + Tide Miavana resort. It was this way, past the tangled lianas and mass of shrubs, that Andrianiaina had just yesterday spotted a lemur. The shy, bug-eyed animals endemic to this island off the coast of southeast Africa can be found nowhere else on earth, a result of Madagascar’s separation from the supercontinent Gondwana 160 million years ago. And with no predators, the furry primates— comprising 33 species from the tiny pygmy mouse lemur to the large black-and-white indri—have flourished in these forests. Still, Andrianiaina warned me, they aren’t exactly easy to find. “There’s a strong chance that we can see them today, but these creatures are cagey—and they’re fast,” he whispered, before disappearing into an uphill thicket of Canarium. I followed him closely, stepping gingerly over branches and leaves and mimicking his every move to navigate the dense forest. Then, a sound. Andrianiaina quickened his pace and again I trailed him, holding my breath in excitement. But alas, when we reached the source of the mysterious rustling, we found nothing but empty trees and swaying leaves. On any other safari, a failed sighting generally equates to dashed hopes. But in Madagascar, where the turquoise waves and golden sands are as mesmerizing as the rare encounters with ring-tailed lemurs and panther chameleons, that’s hardly the case. An unrivaled combination of wildlife, jungle, mountains, and beach, this island nation the size of Kenya is equal parts natural laboratory, adventure playground, and pure paradise. With the opening of Miavana—a private-island resort in the Nosy Ankao archipelago just off the mainland’s northeast coast—it’s now a luxury destination, too.

THIS SPREAD AND PREVIOUS: TIME + TIDE

T

HE


Isles Away

thinking perhaps I was in the Miavana debuted last Maldives or Seychelles rather May with 14 villas spread than this naturalist’s utopia, over 2,500 acres ringed by home to some of the world’s 3 miles of private beach and rarest flora and fauna. a sparkling lagoon. Its lowBeyond the creature slung accommodations are comforts, however, is a Robinson Crusoe meets Mies true sense of Malagasy, van der Rohe, stone and steel from the resort’s Cabinet de structures with floor-toCuriosities—a ceiling glass walls, ENDEMIC BEAUTY mini-museum breezy blue-andMadagascar’s stunning featuring extraorwhite interiors, and landscapes are as dinary island sprawling terraces mesmerizing as its where the private population of rare species, artifacts like a giant egg of the plunge pools spill including the goldencrowned sifaka (left). long-extinct eleout onto the sand. phant bird—to day There are three trips to Manamphao, where restaurants (including a guests can fish for bluefin beach pizzeria), a rooftop trevally and observe nesting bar and wine cellar, and two turtles and their hatchlings. Robinson R66 helicopters— Or, like me, they can try their painted turquoise with white luck on safari, exploring the stripes to match Miavana’s Madagascan mainland interiors. More than once, as and searching for its most I strolled from beach to pool elusive inhabitants. to villa to bar, I lost myself,

R O B B R E P O R T. C O M

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Isles Away

MORE THAN ONCE, I LOST MYSELF, THINKING PERHAPS I WAS IN THE MALDIVES OR SEYCHELLES RATHER THAN THIS NATURALIST ’S UTOPIA.

TIME + TIDE

and wide orange eyes that Back on the winding gave the fluffy tree-dweller mainland trail, Andrianiaina a look of constant surprise. was suddenly excited. A Lounging on a branch, his quick solo excursion into the long tail twirling and curling thicket beyond had revealed as if it had a mind of its own, that indeed we were not he stared down alone in this verSINGULAR STAY while I stared up. dant forest. “Can Miavana’s 14 villas offer a Our eyes locked you climb up?” my rare refuge of luxury and and I froze, transguide breathleisure in Madagascar’s untouched Nosy Ankao fixed. Then, with lessly whispered, archipelago. a flick of his tail, gesturing toward he scampered off, the steep hill from leaving me behind, a motionwhich he had just emerged. less statue marveling at a “Of course,” I mouthed. Up sight that couldn’t be seen we zigged and zagged, hopanywhere else on ping from rock to rock, and Earth. dodging wayward tree limbs until we reached the top. And then, there it was: a critically Time + Tide Miavana, endangered golden-crowned timeandtideafrica.com; sifaka, an alabaster-hued available through the beauty with a black face Explorations Company, and marigold tuft of hair, explorationscompany.com

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CHARTER CHOICE TANKOA’S VERTIGE

JOIE DE

THE SMART DESIGN AND FIRST-RATE CREW OF THIS YACHT, NAMED FOR THE OWNER’S 126

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WHEN AN OWNER NAMES A YACHT AFTER HIS FAVORITE WHITE WINE, and then insists

on having the wine cellar next to his stateroom, that yacht gains instant cult status in the charter world. Vertige, the 164-foot Tankoa superyacht, takes its name from a Condrieu appellation in the Rhône Valley known for its rare perfumes, light acidity, subtle fruit taste, and hint of violet. Chartering in the Caribbean for this winter and the Mediterranean next summer, Vertige shares the wine’s eclectic qualities. The Francesco Paszkowski design has a breakthrough exterior, with larger and smarter social zones than any yacht of its size and an interior with unusual features like a VIP stateroom next to the master suite, two foldout balconies in the master, and a stern beach club converted into a full gym so guests can work out just a few feet from the ocean. Vertige’s crew is also a standout in the charter world. On a charter in the Grenadines last Thanksgiving, captain Filippo Belli arranged for a treasure hunt, à la Pirates of the Caribbean, for the young guests onboard. Forget the plastic treasure box and cheap costumes: The captain buried a real wooden chest in a remote cove, created a series of maps for the children to follow, filled up a rum bottle with iced tea, and then had the crew dress up as pirates, with a mermaid mixed in

to add an extra dimension to the Disney-like adventure. The hunt was followed by a traditional Thanksgiving dinner by chef Ernesto Palij, whose menus range from filet mignon with a reduced red-wine sauce to local seafood and ceviche. A recent lunch for an onboard party in Antigua included Italian specialties like bottarga and truffle butter flown in from Sicily, along with jumbo shrimp and other seafood delicacies. The Argentine-trained chef

experiments with local dishes from his international travels, but also has a stable of tried-andtrue favorites. Belli sees Vertige’s mission as one that will accommodate whatever charter dreams his clients want, including last-minute itinerary changes. Next summer, the yacht has been chartered for the Monaco Grand Prix, along with trips to Croatia, Greece, and Turkey. Charter guests choose their own itineraries.

VERTIGE

FAVORITE FRENCH WINE, OFFERS A VINTAGE CHARTER EXPERIENCE. BY MICHAEL VERDON


Joie de Vertige

FORWARD THINKING Vertige’s advantage as a charter vessel comes through the elaborate social zones across its exterior. A favorite is the square-shaped enclave on the foredeck, with space for a dozen or more people. The unusually large space has tables, lounges, and up to 12 sunbeds. Canopies turn the area into an oasis cooled by ocean breezes. Most guests gravitate forward to this area, especially when the yacht is stern-to in a port like Antibes or Saint-Tropez, because it offers privacy from the docks. On the sundeck above is another gathering point, with five

sunbeds forming a semicircle around a Jacuzzi. Typically, this area has an upper helm station under a hard top, but Paszkowski turned this prime real estate into the ultimate room with a view, placing the hard top and lounges farther back, with an open space at the rear for another exceptional water view over the stern. The owner wanted to always feel close to the ocean aboard Vertige, so Paszkowski accommodated with seethrough glass bulwarks at the rear of the decks, unusually large terraces, and foldout terraces along the main deck that open outward to place guests directly above the water.

WINE CELLAR The 300-bottle wine “cellar” in the hallway between the main saloon and the master suite holds many of the owner’s favorite French and Italian vintages. He decided to place the cellar—a climate-controlled room with glass walls—near the master suite so he can grab a bottle at night without disturbing the crew. Charter guests can enjoy wine onboard, of course, just not from the owner’s private stock.

THIS SPREAD AND PREVIOUS: ALBERTO COCCHI AND BLUEI PRODUCTIONS

A BREAKTHROUGH EXTERIOR, WITH LARGER AND SMARTER SOCIAL ZONES THAN ANY YACHT OF ITS SIZE.


MASTER TERRACES Even the master suite has private terraces on either side of the bedroom that, when opened, extend the full-beam suite to about 36 feet wide. They can be used as a breakfast nook or a platform for watching the stars overhead. The master is as elegant as one would expect, with its own walk-in closet and onyx-clad head. There is also a nice touch with the VIP stateroom adjoining it. “The owner often uses Vertige for business purposes,” says Tankoa’s Michel Karsenti. “He wants his clients to enjoy the suite and not feel like they’ve been relegated to a second-class stateroom on the deck below.” This unusual layout benefits Vertige’s charter guests, who can keep children nearby in the VIP stateroom.


Joie de Vertige

Beyond Palij’s broad culinary range, Vertige’s interior dining room on the main deck and the upper-deck exterior dining table for 14 were designed to make memories. The formal dining is elegant but not stuffy, surrounded by teak floors and 1950s-inspired rosewood furniture that give the saloon a

calming but formal presence. By contrast, the alfresco table is more for informal feasts or big get-togethers, where big platters of creative salads and fresh seafood are served family-style around the table. At the rear of this deck is a couch that can fit up to 20 people who want to enjoy the view after a fine meal.

CHARTERING VERTIGE BUILDER:

CRUISING AREAS:

DELIVERED:

WEEKLY RATES:

Tankoa 2017 LENGTH: 164 feet CABINS: 6 GUESTS: 12

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Caribbean in winter; Eastern/Western Mediterranean in summer From $250,000 per week HIGHLIGHTS: Exceptional exterior social zones; full gym in the beach club; two foldout balconies ýďĩûëĎ×ģĩëğģĭýĩëǵf*KĔďģ×Ďë̐ĔĔğ×ģĎ×ģĩëğǵãğëĹĹýĊĊýďöĩĔöĔ×âĔĸë×ďéâëĿĔďé CONTACT: Northrop & Johnson, northropandjohnson.com

ALBERTO COCCHI AND BLUEI PRODUCTIONS

GOOD EATS


C H A L L E N G E

E V E R Y T H I N G

SKULL BAD BOY

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BOTTLE

From single-malt scotch to bourbon, Cognac, and rum, these are some of the latest editions

BY RICHARD CARLETON HACKER

UNLIKE SPIRITS INVESTORS, who seek out rare bottles based solely on their potential for monetary appreciation, collectors are interested in distilled rarities for their own sake, either as a special spirit to personally enjoy and share with others, because of a brand’s interesting history, or simply as a hard-to-find bottle that fills a niche in an already well-stocked home bar. ¶ “Start with what you enjoy most,” advises Jeff Zacharia, president of Zachys Wine Auctions, Inc. Whether that is a single category, such as bourbon, or a particular style, such as peated malts, “collecting is about enjoyment,” he says. ¶ It also pays to be informed about the spirits world, not only to broaden your knowledge and appreciation of spirits but also to become aware of new variations coming out and others that are being discontinued, thus very possibly becoming even more collectible in the near future. Whisky collector Mahesh Patel, creator of the sourcing service Whisky Concierge, recommends that novice collectors attend events and join local spirits clubs to learn more about their particular passions. “Learn from the experts,” he says. “Try to buy your products from respected retailers who carry premium spirits [and] connect with other collectors, who can advise you on certain bottles.” E

S I N G L E - M A LT WHISKY

The Macallan Fine Oak 30 Years Old O The most important thing to realize about this velvety and extremely aromatic whisky— which is aged in a combination of Spanish sherry butts, American-oak sherry barrels, and ex-bourbon casks—is that it is being discontinued. The reason? To conserve existing stocks of whiskies aging in the Macallan warehouses and to stretch the supply of sherry butts, which

are much more expensive than bourbon barrels. That means whatever bottles that buyers encounter online or on purveyor shelves will not be replaced once they are sold. Consequently, Charlie Whitfield, manager of brand education and prestige whiskies for the Macallan, predicts that the Fine Oak 30 Years Old ($3,000)—along with the Fine Oak 21 Years Old ($550), which is also being discontinued—“will soon become collector’s items when supplies run out.” themacallan.com

S I N G L E - M A LT WHISKY

Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 2017 Edition O When it comes to whisky, wood—specifically the oak used to make the barrels in which the spirits age—is one of the most dominant factors in creating flavor. And while ex-bourbon and sherry barrels are most often used, it took Japan’s leading and most collectible brand, Yamazaki, to create something that had never existed before: a whisky

that has been aged from 18 to 50 years (rather than just finished) exclusively in barrels made from Japan’s proprietary mizunara oak. This hard, yet porous wood is sourced from the ancient forests of Hokkaido and imparts a distinctive spiciness and incense-like flavor to this rare dram. Needless to say, quantities of the Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 2017 Edition ($1,000) are extremely limited, and prices will probably be higher on the secondary market in a few years. suntory.com

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL BUCKNER STYLING BY AMY PALIWODA SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE PACIFIC DESIGN CENTER

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ROCKET

collectors should seek to add to a spirited stash before their asking prices break the stratosphere.

Limited-edition Club Bar cabinet by Armani/Casa n a.  City double old-fashioned glasses, available at Gearys Beverly

) Orrefors (gearys.com).


Bottle Rockets

RUM

RUM

Ron Barceló Imperial Blend 30 Aniversario

Facundo Paraíso XA (Extra-Aged)

O This is an annual offering of 9,000 individually numbered bottles, each housed in a handsomely embossed tin. But with only 600 bottles allocated to the United States each year, they tend to disappear rapidly into the hands of serious rum collectors. Aged in French-oak barrels previously used for Bordeaux wines, the Ron Barceló Imperial Blend 30 Aniversario ($120) has an intense amber hue that foretells rich flavors of dried fruits, vanilla, and caramel-coated chocolate and melted toffee. ronbar celo.com

O On February 4, 2012, to celebrate Bacardí’s 150th anniversary, company chairman Facundo L. Bacardí—the great-great-grandson of founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó—proposed sharing the family’s private rum reserves with the rest of the world. The ultimate expression of the four rums that were created was

Paraíso ($250), which means “paradise”: a blend of rums aged 16 to 23 years representing some of the oldest in the Bacardí cellars. A few younger rums were also added to help tame the powerful flavors. This rum was then finished in XO Cognac barrels. Its multiple layers of almonds, candied licorice, and a touch of smoke demand that this rarity be savored in a snifter. facundorum.com

credenza Rondelle by John Pomp,

available through the Thomas Lavin showroom (thomaslavin .com); Rogaska Expert Cognac snifter, available at Gearys Beverly Hills (gearys.com).

Zacharia suggests establishing good relationships with reputable dealers and buying from accredited spirits auction houses. Both methods can help guard against inadvertently purchasing counterfeit whiskies, which are becoming more prevalent as the growing number of collectors has fueled an increased demand for rare bottlings. Zacharia points to a few brands that are solid additions to most collections: Scotland’s the Macallan

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COGNAC

Louis XIII O In 1874, Paul-Emile Rémy Martin registered the Louis XIII name. Since then, this classic Cognac has evolved into what many consider the ultimate digestif. Composed of 1,200 eaux-de-vie ranging in age from 40 to 100 years, the Louis XIII Cognac ($3,500) is easily recognizable on any wet-bar shelf by its distinctive Baccarat crystal decanter, which is

styled after a 16th-century flagon from the Battle of Jarnac. Of course, if a collector wants to play one-upmanship, the Louis XIII Legacy ($15,000), released last summer, is a limited-edition Baccarat crystal magnum decanter presented in a calfskin coffret and signed by four generations of Louis XIII cellar masters. Only 500 were produced. louisxiii-cognac.com

COGNAC

Hardy L’Été O Many spirits become part of a series before collectors are aware of it, thus obliging completists to play catch-up by trying to acquire all of the earlier releases. Not necessarily so with the Hardy Four Seasons Collection, a series of Grande Champagne Cognacs created to pay homage to the seasons: spring (le

printemps), summer (l’été), fall (l’automne), and winter (l’hiver). The blends used in the Four Seasons series are made from six eaux-de-vie originally set aside between 1919 and 1940 by Armand Hardy, whose grandfather Anthony Hardy established the famous Cognac house in 1863. A distinctive new “season” is introduced every 2 years. Fortunately, with just

four offerings, only two— Le Printemps and the recently introduced L’Été—have been released thus far (retailing between $15,500 and $15,900), making it possible to start now and eventually complete the series. The challenge is in trying to acquire the limited number of bottles that have been allocated to the United States. hardycognac.com

RUM

Flor de Caña Centenario 25 Year Old Single Estate O Nicaragua doesn’t produce just fine cigars. Ever since 1890—long before the first tobacco crops were planted— the Pellas family has been distilling what has become Central America’s finest estate-grown sugarcane rum. Although famous for its 18 Year Old, Flor de Caña also produces a harder-to-find Centenario 25 Year Old Single Estate ($140), the epitome of its offerings. The nutrient-rich volcanic soil in which the sugarcane is grown, and the ex-bourbon barrels (which are sealed with plantain leaves) that are used to age the distillate, give this spirit a thick, fruity caramel-and-cocoa nuance that lingers on the palate. The rapid evaporation caused by Nicaragua’s climate makes this a rum that can be produced only in very limited quantities. flordecana.com

and Highland Park, as well as Yamazaki and Nikka from Japan, and some limited-edition bourbons from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. To that, Patel adds Scotch whiskies including Ardbeg, Bowmore, Dalmore, Balvenie, and Royal Salute. ¶ Although the hunt for and acquisition of rare bottles can be both challenging and rewarding, most experts agree that collecting them is largely—and quite literally—a matter of personal taste.


Bottle Rockets Console Evans from Armani/Casa

WHISKY

Orphan Barrel Entrapment

(armanicasa.com); Ralph Lauren Sutton decanter and Georg Jensen Manhattan tray with leather, available at Gearys Beverly Hills (gearys.com).

BOURBON

Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old O You can’t have a bourbon collection without having at least one bottle of Pappy 23, as it’s known to aficionados. But you can expect to pay substantially more than the

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O This is the first Canadian blended whisky to appear in the Orphan Barrel line, and it is one of the brand’s best spirits to date. At 25 years, it is also one of the oldest, but unlike some other long-aged

suggested retail price of $330. Zachys Wine Auctions puts a pre-auction estimate for an upcoming bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old at $1,800 to $2,600, and the Picasso restaurant at Bellagio in Las Vegas charges $425 for a 1.5ounce pour. Is it worth it?

That is in the eyes of the collector, but for the record, it is an excellent meaty and robust bourbon, and one of the few that comes with its own fan club. That is why, upon its release every fall, it almost immediately sells out. oldripvanwinkle.com

whiskies, Entrapment ($150) does not reek of wood. Befitting its Crown Royal legacy, it came from a small amount of leftover blended spirits from a 1992 bottling of Crown Royal Delux that was “entrapped” in barrels (hence its name) for a quarter of a century. With a mash bill of 97 percent

corn and 3 percent malted barley, it is plump with apples, toffee, and lightly toasted floral cedar. There isn’t a lot of Entrapment to go around, but it is one of the best Canadian whiskies to come out of the Gimli, Manitoba, distillery in, well, 25 years. orphan barrel.com


Bottle Rockets

goes into the making of a collectible bottle of whisky is as much about intuition as it is about chemistry. And that instinct grows stronger under the tutelage of a sage. Brian Kinsman, a chemist by training and the malt master at Glenfiddich (glenfiddich.com), is now a whisky whisperer in his own right, having sharpened his talents by working with one of the industry’s most revered virtuosos: David C. Stewart. “Days working with David honed that gut feeling for how the distillery’s casks work,” Kinsman says. Yet in this process, method abets instinct. The culling begins as early as 10 to 12 years into a whisky’s aging process. Most of Glenfiddich’s whisky ends its time in barrel at this stage to be blended into the brand’s signature 12-year-old offering. But while sampling, Kinsman sometimes notices a cask that seems unusual, so he holds that one back. “Then, when it gets older, say at 15 or 21 years, that’s the point you’re more likely to identify it for having a nice balance,” he says. He samples many of the older single-malt stocks in the warehouses annually, and over time grows familiar with distinct barrels. “I’ve almost grown up with these casks,” he observes. “Certain ones just stick in your mind. You might have sampled it only a few times, but you remember it.” One such whisky is the Glenfiddich 1973 Rare Collection Cask No. 7585 ($6,000) released last fall,

THE MAKING OF A RARE WHISKY Glenfiddich’s malt master reveals the science and art required to create a scotch worth collecting.

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JOHN PAUL

WHAT

which was first put into barrel 44 years ago, long before Kinsman’s tenure at the distillery. He had his eye on that cask, as it was classic Glenfiddich—a balance of vanilla, light spices, cinnamon, and a natural fruitiness that wasn’t overpowered by oak. “I knew it as soon as I sampled it,” he says, adding that with whiskies such as this, “you taste it, almost make a decision, leave it, then do it again to confirm your notes.” As whiskies reach 30 years and older, the stocks dwindle to fewer than several hundred—enabling the malt master to know the remaining examples more intimately. While there is no age at which whiskies universally top out, Kinsman finds that some casks do lose their flavor over time, especially those aging in European oak; American oak can generally sustain the whisky for longer periods without releasing overpowering oaky notes. “There’s almost too much flavor [with European oak]. The whisky can’t cope, and loses its structure,” he says. “You could have 100 casks filled on the same day, and there is almost no rhyme or reason why one cask is better than another. That mystery is such an important part of whisky making. It could be that a particular tree had something, or a cooper did something special that day.” One of the best whiskies he’s sampled was from 1955. “It was so vibrant and fruity, and it was 55 years old! With the right cask and the right conditions,” he notes, “there’s really no limit.” —Janice O’Leary


The new Clive Christian penthouse in Chicago invites guests to come in, relax, and stay awhile. BY ARIANNE NARDO

INTERIOR MOTI VES PHOT OGRAPHY BY JEREMY W TTEVEEN AND TINA SERAFINI 140

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the Clive Christian Chicago Lifestyle Apartment, the audacious British designer creates a sensation among those gathering to view this unique address. Seated in the living room, Christian—whose name has been synonymous with exquisitely crafted kitchens, furnishings, and perfume for three decades—makes a statement as bold as any of his interiors. “I think without question this is not only the best representation of Clive Christian in the USA; I think this is the best interior-design showroom in the USA,” he says. “I travel across America frequently, and I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s unique; it’s actually worth someone traveling a distance to see.”

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Interior Motives

The project in question— an immersive, 6,000-squarefoot expanse of meticulously rendered residential space— is an unrivaled first for the company. The myriad images on social media fail to convey the in-person experience. Instagram can’t fully capture the hand-painted silverleaf wall treatment in the vestibule or the grandeur of the Baccarat chandelier presiding over the dining room. Fleeting effects play little part in this apartment, which took Jim Denos, president of Clive Christian Chicago and a 20-year collaborator with the designer himself, nearly 2 years to transform into the ultimate expression of Clive Christian living. Still, despite its lofty objective, this highly polished environment invites visitors not merely to look but also to touch and explore. Serious clients can arrange to spend the night at the penthouse and experience the heritage brand to the utmost—from

This highly polished environment invites visitors not merely to look but also to touch and explore. Serious clients can arrange to spend the night.

Guests can experience the head-to-toe Clive Christian lifestyle via the handcrafted kitchen, dressing room, and master bath.

the selection of Clive Christian fragrances on the vanity to the seamless automation provided by a $1 million suite of Crestron products. According to Christian, the space encourages interaction and drives desire. “A lot of clients need to be shown things, because they’re busy,” he observes. “They don’t have any time to be planning. And generally, they’ll say, ‘I’ll have it.’ I think the more people who come in here, the more Jim is going to do those complete environments.” Achieving this signature milieu required a cadre of artisans, painters, woodworkers, and plaster and molding specialists to take their respective crafts to superlative levels. Totaling 13 rooms, the apartment features a spacious living area, where an ornate plaster ceiling affords a classic counterpoint to burr- walnut paneling—a house specialty. Above the fireplace in the library, a custom work of marquetry

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Dorya furniture and a Christopher Guy mirror enjoy an easy repartee in the living area.

The careful combination of elusive and sometimes invisible elements—heritage, artisanship, and design continuity especially—draw the curious forward.

representing a Denos-family heirloom watch testifies to the brand’s emphasis on highly personalized, bespoke commissions. “We’re an artistic company; we employ artistic people,” Christian says. Among other highlights are a sommelier’s tasting room, which features a vineyard-themed marquetry mural enriched with hints of vivid blue; a definitive Clive Christian kitchen in the brand’s Architectural design; and an extensive master suite that includes a custom dressing room. To these areas, interior designer Joey Leicht added an additional layer of sophistication. “Selecting luxurious fabrics allowed me to design windows that were fashion inspired and adorned with jewelry-like accents,” Leicht explains. The apartment also features harmoniously presented furnishings from Dorya; crystal and lighting by Baccarat; carpets and fabrics by Pierre Frey; and mirrors by Christopher Guy. The careful combination of elusive and sometimes invisible elements—heritage, artisanship, and design continuity especially—draw the curious forward. “All of the things you see and feel here are comfortable—are thought through,” says Christian of the penthouse. “That’s why the risk that it’s not going to flow is gone. The risk that it’s going to be jumpy and not sit correctly is gone. Under Jim’s remit here in Chicago, all those risks are gone.” For Christian, however, the ultimate design risk is to deliver elevated style that lacks comfort. “We’re not designing lobbies for hotels that are there to impress a traveler,” he says. “We’re designing a home. So if it’s impressive and uncomfortable, then I think we’ve failed.” Visits to the Clive Christian Chicago Lifestyle Apartment are available by appointment. Clive Christian, clivechristianchicago.com, 312.755.1075

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Time Well Spent

NAPA VALLEY F E B R U A R Y

2 0 1 8


NAPA VALLEY California’s beloved wine country rises from the ashes and raises a glass to the future. By Michalene Busico

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“Wake up early, grab a cup of good coffee, and take a stroll through the French Laundry Culinary Garden.” THOMAS KELLER

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“Napa Valley is more than a wine-country postcard sprung to life,” says Thomas Keller. “And it’s more than the recent wildfires, too.” Like most locals, the Michelin three-star chef and founder of Northern California’s acclaimed French Laundry 1 (thomaskeller.com) is eager to put his hometown’s recent devastation—a series of fires that scorched hundreds of thousands of acres but left the iconic valley largely, and mercifully, intact—in his rearview mirror. Indeed, there is much on the horizon, and as long-established wineries rebuild and new hotels and restaurants prepare to open their doors,

Napa’s message for the world is clear: Now is the time to visit. Beyond the singed treetops, visitors will find plenty of new life sprouting all the way from Calistoga to Carneros. Hot on the heels of the muchanticipated debut of Las Alcobas Napa Valley 2 (lasalcobasnapavalley.com)— St. Helena’s Yabu Pushelberg–designed retreat featuring one of Napa’s hottest new restaurants—are openings like the historic Francis House (thefrancis house.com) and the glamorous Vintage

House 3 (vintagehouse.com). Califor-

nia’s most prominent chefs (Keller chief among them) have debuted exciting new projects, tightly linking their menus to the local wine. And giving oenophiles a deeper dive into the region’s excellent current-release wines are a handful of new private-tasting experiences by some of the valley’s most celebrated cult vintners. Now, as the rains begin and the blackened hills regrow, there’s no denying that greener pastures are ahead for this celebrated wine region.

LOCAL FAVORITES

MICHAEL MONDAVI

STAY

EAT

DRINK

SHOP

The Andaz Napa has all the conveniences of a new luxury hotel, but it’s in the center of old downtown Napa. It also has an outdoor bar with terrific views of the Napa hills.

Bistro Don Giovanni has been around for 20 years. The service is meticulous, and there are always seasonal Italian dishes on the menu. Order the fettuccine alla Lina, a recipe for veal-andpork ragù that’s from my grandmother’s housekeeper.

The happening bar in Napa is at Morimoto. In winter, I order their Negroni. In the summer, out on the patio, I like a glass of rosé, chilled and on the rocks. I learned that from my grandfather.

If you’re into cooking or barbecue, Shackford’s Kitchen Store is the best place. Mr. Shackford runs it with his daughter, and they have every good knife, device, appliance, espresso machine— everything.

napa.andaz.hyatt.com

JONES; 2: JASON DEWEY; 3: WILL PRYCE; 4: EMMA K. MORRIS

ILLUSTRATIONS: G ARY WILLIAM MUSGRAVE; OPPOSITE, 1: DEBORAH

APRIL GARGIULO FOUNDER, VINTNER’S DAUGHTER

THOMAS KELLER CHEF AND RESTAURATEUR

morimotonapa.com

bistrodongiovanni.com

WINEMAKER We love Meadowood. They have an incredible family pool, and the small hike around the property is a great way to start the day. All the menus are seasonal and super-local. Last time, I had a drink made with Moringa leaf—it’s an adaptogen, which helps your body adapt to stress.

Ciccio in Yountville has this swirling, Felliniesque energy to it. I like the Negroni menu, and I always get the whole branzino. ciccionapavalley.com

A new izakaya in downtown Napa called Miminashi 4 is the best place for cocktails and snacks. It has a highly regarded craft-beer and wine list, an interesting sake menu, and cocktails. I recommend some sake and yakitori. miminashi.com

poetryinn.com; cliffledevineyards.com

For fashion, Hunter Gatherer 5 in Yountville is so spot-on for Napa Valley. Their collection for men and women is comfortable, but still chic. My last purchase was a one-of-a-kind maxi dress made from antique handkerchiefs. huntergatherernapavalley.com

meadowood.com

The Poetry Inn has such a tranquil setting, nestled into the hillside above the Silverado Trail. The views stretch across the valley floor, and include the inn’s winery, Cliff Lede Vineyards, right below.

707.226.2132

When the French Laundry won three Michelin stars in October, we celebrated with the woodfired pizza from Redd Wood. It’s our go-to special-occasion pizza, made by our friend and neighbor Richard Reddington. The fresh mozzarella is simple and delicious; the mushroom and four-cheese are staff favorites. redd-wood.com

Make an appointment to visit Wheeler Farms, a new winery and farm in St. Helena. After a tour of their flawless gardens and winery, taste their Accendo Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc with snacks made from whatever is fresh from the garden. wheelerfarmswine.com

The Yountville boutique Forty Five Ten is the first California outpost of the Dallas shop and a favorite place for homewares and gifts that vary from the whimsical to the extravagant. The oversize Assouline coffee-table books, Jan Barboglio glassware, and Cozy Nomad vintage pillows often catch my eye.

DO

Hike to the top of Mount St. Helena at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park and bring a nice picnic lunch. It was one of [Scottish novelist] Robert Louis Stevenson’s favorite areas, and 99.5 percent of the people who visit Napa are not even aware of it.

Indian Springs 6 in Calistoga has been offering mud baths for over a century. The resort itself has that old-fashioned Dirty Dancing resort feeling (in a good way). A treatment there immediately makes me feel relaxed. indianspringscalistoga.com

Wake up early, grab a cup of good coffee, and take a stroll through the French Laundry Culinary Garden. I love to watch it come alive in the morning light as the American flag is raised and the day’s harvest begins. frenchlaundry.com

fortyfiveten.com

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Time Well Spent NAPA VALLEY

Solo Flights Las Alcobas

Rest Assured

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Nickel & Nickel

N A PA’ S F I N E ST W I N E R I E S A R E G I V I N G O E N O P H I L E S

the one-on-one treatment with exclusive, appointment-only visits that allow guests to explore the complexities of some of the valley’s most revered labels in a more intimate setting than traditional tastings. Among them are Ehlers Estate (ehlersestate .com), whose Start Your Day morning tastings begin with a detailed tour of the vineyards and winery, followed by a tasting and Bouchon Bakery pastries. The Private Cave Collection tasting at Far Niente (farniente.com) and the Private Terroir Tasting at Nickel & Nickel (nickelandnickel.com) each include library vintages as well as current releases, poured in a relaxed setting

on historic estate grounds. The biggest tasting news in the valley, however, is Promontory (promontory.wine), the Harlan family’s monumental new winery in the hills of Oakville—and the first Harlan outpost ever to open its venerable doors to visitors. Only a few reservations are accepted each day for the estate’s 90-minute, $200 private tours, which include tastings from the label’s large Austrian casks as well as current and library releases of its $650 Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery itself—a breathtaking assemblage of concrete, glass, and steel overlooking Oakville and the greater Napa Valley—may be worth the price of admission on its own.

Napa’s Wine-andDine Darlings T H E R E S TA U R A N T T H AT

put Napa on the culinary map is once again making headlines: Last spring, Thomas Keller’s legendary French Laundry (thomaskeller .com) completed a 3-year, $10 million renovation, adding an impressive new kitchen, a 15,000-bottle wine cellar, a board room, and a freshly designed landscape and courtyard. But the valley’s doyen of fine dining is also sharing the spotlight with more than a few noteworthy newcomers—all of whom seem to be taking a page from Keller’s eminent book by pairing the region’s farm-fresh bounty with its finest labels. Christopher Kostow, the Michelin three-star chef of the Restaurant at Meadowood, unveiled the highly anticipated Charter Oak (thecharteroak.com)

Charter Oak

Two Birds/One Stone

last summer, bringing rich dishes like beef ribs grilled over Cabernet barrels to a casual St. Helena space centered on a roaring hearth. Nearby at the newly renovated Freemark Abbey winery (freemarkabbey.com), the Los Angeles–based chef Sang Yoon has partnered with Douglas Keane (of Healdsburg’s bygone Michelin-starred Cyrus) to debut Two Birds/One Stone (twobirds onestonenapa.com), a creative yakitori restaurant specializing in an irresistible hybrid of Californian and Japanese cuisines with a comfort-food twist. Just up the road at Las Alcobas, San Francisco’s Chris Cosentino recently opened Acacia House (lasalco basnapavalley.com), offering signature dishes like juicy Iberico-pork schnitzel bathed in a bright beurre blanc and topped with a tangle of herbs in “caviar ranch” dressing. And at downtown Napa’s Kenzo Estates, the new kaiseki hot spot Kenzo (kenzonapa.com) has already earned a Michelin star less than a year after opening.

LAS ALCOBAS: JASON DEWEY; CHARTER OAK: KELLY D. PULEIO

N A PA VA L L E Y ’ S verdant hills are a fertile ground for more than just wine: New hotels are sprouting up in some of the region’s most picturesque locales. Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Napa Valley (lasalcobasnapavalley.com) debuted to great fanfare last year as the first luxury opening in the valley since 2010. The hotel comes with 68 minimalist-chic rooms (the best of which feature private terraces that hover above the vineyards), an Atrio spa offering Naturopathica products, and Chris Cosentino’s lauded restaurant. Ten miles south, two new hotels are elevating the 23-acre Estate Yountville: Vintage House (vintage house.com) opened in October with 80 rooms and suites—each with a wood-burning fireplace and expansive terrace or balcony—and four cottage-style bungalows located a stone’s throw from the French Laundry; the neighboring Hotel Villagio (villagio.com) will open in May with 112 modern, chic rooms and an exclusive-use villa with five bedrooms and a private pool and Jacuzzi. And giving travelers a luxurious history lesson in Calistoga is the Francis House (thefrancishouse.com), a long-abandoned 19th-century estate that has been renovated as an elegant inn with five guest rooms, a salon, and a swimming pool.


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© MMXVIII Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. a Realogy Company. All Rights Reserved. The Seine at Bougival, used with permission. Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated.


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GEAR, GADGETS, AND AMENITIES FOR DISCERNING HUMANS

Articles of Taste OBJECTS OF AFFECTION In February, it becomes abundantly clear that, as James Joyce once wrote, “love loves to love love.” Here we’ve selected extraordinary tokens that make our hearts skip a beat. BY CAROLYN MEERS AND JOHN LYON 1 STICK WITH ME SWEETS Don’t be fooled by their elegant exterior—these bonbons from New York City’s Stick with Me Sweets are not just for show. The Nolita chocolatier combines flavors that range from cozy to chic—think bourbon maple pecan, pretzel with peanut-butter praline, and black sesame with mango passion fruit. swmsweets .com ($88 for a box of 24)

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2

2 LADURÉE When it comes to expressing amour in style, iconic Parisian bakery and chocolatier Ladurée has all the right ingredients; it’s been perfecting each sweet recipe since opening its doors in 1862. This selection of delicate macarons detailed with edible gold leaf reflects a firm foundation. laduree.com ($35 for six)

ST YLIST: CHARLES W. BUMG ARDNER

3 ROCOCO CHOCOLATES A favorite of London’s gourmands, Rococo Chocolates delivers a delicious new take on the usual chocolate-andstrawberries combo with creamy white-chocolate bark ripe with strawberries and broken into readyto-devour pieces. rococo chocolates.com ($11.75) 4 OCOCOA Los Angeles–based Ococoa reinvigorates a classic— the peanut-butter cup— pairing almond butter with tart cherry and pistachio with date. ococoa.com ($25 for nine)

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“When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.” —Milan Kundera

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1 BYREDO The right scent does as much to set the mood as flowers and bubbly. Velvet Haze, the newest unisex perfume from Sweden’s Byredo, is redolent of sweet coconut water, rich cocoa, earthy patchouli leaves, and wild musk—just the thing for tapping into instinctual desires. byredo.com ($150–$230)

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2 ULYSSE NARDIN The airy aesthetic created by the skeleton movement and dial of the Executive Skeleton Tourbillon is reflected in the watch’s lightweight construction, which uses a titanium case and ceramic bezel to cut ounces. The captivating result reflects a very bearable lightness of being. ulysse-nardin .com ($38,000)

3 DAVID YURMAN The sterling-silver Signet Coin Ring from the New York jeweler’s Shipwreck collection depicts a heraldic lion and the brand’s logo in bold relief, while the 18-karat-gold Forged Carbon Band Ring is overlaid with a geometric pattern of black carbon. davidyurman .com ($550–$1,600)

4 SHAMBALLA JEWELS Danish jewelry brand Shamballa Jewels created the esteemed Lock Bracelet design in 2011 and has updated it regularly ever since. This example features flat beads made from green marble as well as two 18-karat-gold flat tiles: One is decorated with pavé diamonds on one side, while the other features the Shamballa star logo set with a single diamond. shamballa jewels.com ($7,670)

P H O T O BY J O S H U A S C O T T

ST YLIST: CHARLES W. BUMG ARDNER

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Articles of Taste

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” —Coco Chanel

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2 MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN In the Baccarat Rouge 540 extrait de parfum, Parisian perfumer Francis Kurkdjian unites fresh Egyptian jasmine with saffron, bold Moroccan almond, and cedar. The result is a warm, earthy scent well suited to brisk evenings. franciskurkdjian.com ($425 for 2.4 oz.)

1 CHANEL This chic gold clutch adds the ideal touch of glimmer (and glamour) to a night out. Its metallized pleated leather is bordered by a pair of subtle gold chains that meet at the clasp—Chanel’s iconic interlocking C logo. chanel.com ($5,000)

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3 GRAFF DIAMONDS Laurence Graff’s oneof-a-kind chandelier earrings are carefully crafted with 63 carats of pear-shaped diamonds, all of which sway just enough to reflect every element of radiance—from flashbulbs to candlelight. graffdiamonds.com (Price upon request)

P H O T O BY J O S H U A S C O T T

ST YLIST: CHARLES W. BUMG ARDNER

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Articles of Taste 1 BRUNELLO CUCINELLI Cozy up under this supple silk tartan blanket in sophisticated pearl gray, complete with fringes and Brunello Cucinelli’s signature beaded stripes. A romantic roaring fire, however, is not included. brunello cucinelli.com ($1,495)

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2 DOM PÉRIGNON The famed Champagne house matures the P2 2000 on its lees almost twice as long as its standard 2000 vintage to impart additional complexity and character. Like love, this Champagne grows finer with age. dom perignon.com ($375)

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3 LALIQUE 4 TIFFANY & CO. Toast to your future Enter into some lighttogether with the French hearted competition glass maison’s Roxane with these domino Champagne flutes. ($1,500) and tic-tac-toe Designed by Marc ($1,000) sets. Both are Lalique—son of company made with American founder René Lalique—in walnut and feature 1968, the classic style is sterling-silver accents. rendered in clear crystal The tic-tac-toe board and manufactured by also includes five hand. lalique.com amazonite spheres as ($370 each) pieces. tiffany.com

“To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with.” —Mark Twain

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ST YLIST: CHARLES W. BUMG ARDNER

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TIME PIECE

“With the Bugatti, I think we really opened a new dimension. The ability to reorient the source of energy is something completely new.” — F LO R I N N I C U L E S C U, PA R M I G I A N I F L E U R I E R

In 2004,

Parmigiani Fleurier’s newly unveiled Bugatti Type 370 created a sensation among watch collectors with its radical rethinking of movement architecture. Instead of wheels and plates lying flat on the wrist, the Type 370 presented a construction elongated by columns that sat transversely across the wrist. It looked like a car engine, an especially apt design for a product tied to the Veyron supercar from the revived Bugatti marque. Nevertheless, while the design was revered and produced in very limited numbers for over a decade, it was also technically inflexible. Parmigiani’s engineers found they could only complete major design updates with a new, somewhat more conventional movement and a dial oriented at 90 degrees through conical gearing—a solution first shown in 2010’s sinuously curved Super Sport. The latest Bugatti timepiece from Parmigiani, the Bugatti Type 390—shown for the first time in the fall of 2017—brings back the transverse movement architecture in a more modern and adaptable package. Housed in a cylinder, the movement stacks a flying tourbillon at one end followed by a going train in planetary gears, two winding barrels, and a conical-geared power-reserve indicator at the opposite end. Time indication is on a perpendicular plane from the cylinder, with the power transmission performed by a column of worm gearing (the action is a little like a spinning corkscrew). In fact, the whole case articulates around the movement, adding comfort for the wearer and, according to the company, taking a direct cue from the car. “The engine in the Bugatti is attached to the cockpit in the center of the car, and the two rear wheels are supported by the engine itself,” says Florin Niculescu, vice president of product development at Parmigiani Fleurier. “We wanted to mount the movement in a similar manner.” Also like the car, the watch is produced to the specifications of the owner in different combinations of colors and materials. But more importantly, the movement package is designed to allow far greater creative license in forthcoming versions. “The 390 opens a new dimension for the future,” says Niculescu, “because I can put the movement wherever I want around the wrist, pick up the energy, and use it for any type of time display.” —James D. Malcolmson

THE TIMELINE ENERGIZED ENGINEERING 1 2004 Parmigiani launches its Bugatti Type 370, with a transverse movement, to great acclaim.

2 2010 The Bugatti Super Sport, whose dial is oriented 90 degrees from the movement plane, makes its appearance.

3 2012 Parmigiani dresses the Super Sport in titanium and Texalium and dubs it the Bugatti Vitesse.

4 2014 The brand marks a decade of its Bugatti partnership with three engraved and decorated editions of the original Type 370.

5 2016 An all-sapphire version of the Super Sport is introduced.

6 2017 Parmigiani previews its latest model, the Bugatti Type 390.

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