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  Editorial Issue 156, November 2016   
The Magic of TimeThe Magic of Time  Contents 
Issue 155, October 2016 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 157, December 2016

The Magic of Time


 I am going to talk again about the wonderful relationship between wine and time. Better to say, what time is capable of making to those wines made with the purpose of improving and evolving in the course of the years. A quality, traveling with time, which is not allowed to every wine as this is made only with the goal of making a wine capable of “challenging” time. It takes, first of all, a strict quality both in vineyard and in winery - and sometimes some wine making tricks as well - and the far-sighted capability of seeing the evolution of wine and grapes making it. I admit it: I have a particular passion for wines which can benefit from the caress of time, a magic that, when it is successful, is capable of giving extraordinary and unrepeatable emotions. From bubbles to fortified wines, there is no wine style I do not like when “they are aged for sometime” - those which can do that, of course - as they are also capable of giving me an extraordinary chance of sensorial study.


 

 The occasion of talking again about the connection of wine to time has also been offered by a pleasing confirmation I recently had when I uncorked two bottles being more than 10 years old. To tell the truth, it has been a special occasion going beyond the simple act of uncorking those bottles. I in fact had the pleasure - and I would add, the honor - of sharing these two bottles with the “father” of those two beautiful wines. There is more: it has also been a wish turning into reality and waiting for right time - the time of wine and of making the right occasion - in order to become true. These two wines are Bianca di Valguarnera 2005 and Duca Enrico 2003, both made by Duca di Salaparuta; the father, a competent wine maker with an extraordinary prestige: Carlo Casavecchia. Many in fact will remember the long time Carlo Casavecchia worked for this famous Sicilian winery - and Florio - in particular, for the fundamental contribution the great wine maker from Alba gave to the revaluation and the prestige of Marsala wine.

 I am not going to talk about the competence and huge talent of Carlo Casavecchia: his brilliant career, the many wines he made and his résumé prove, undoubtedly, his prestige. Graduated in 1982 in wine making with the highest ranking, Carlo Casavecchia has worked, among the many things, the with great Giacomo Tachis - probably the greatest Italian wine maker of all times - and with whom he personally witnessed the renaissance of Italian quality wine. Carlo Casavecchia has a wine competence and versatility I would define of encyclopedic and extraordinary skill, capable of giving life to magnificent wine masterpieces, from great bubbles to perfect fortified wines, Marsala in particular. The occasion of uncorking those bottles with Carlo Casavecchia happened - or better to say, was created - with time and, who knows, by chance. Everything started some years ago when I bought a bottle of Bianca di Valguarnera 2005 and one of Duca Enrico 2003. Those two bottles have been stored in my cellar for a long time, while I was continuously promise myself, sooner or later, I would have uncorked them.


Carlo Casavecchia with his Duca
Enrico 2003 and Bianca di Valguarnera 2005
Carlo Casavecchia with his Duca Enrico 2003 and Bianca di Valguarnera 2005

 Few years ago, while I was looking for another bottle to be uncorked for the occasion of that night, I found those two bottles and the idea immediately came to my mind. Those bottles, this was the right thing to do, would have been shared with their creator, the wine maker who - some years ago - gave them life. Not only the pleasure of sharing some bottles with a dear friend, indeed the curiosity of knowing his opinion and impression about those two prodigal sons. I left them in the cellar, with the idea - sooner or later - I would have phoned Carlo Casavecchia and tried to arrange things. The occasion finally happened at the beginning of October and it was also the chance for a beautiful journey to Langhe - just one of the many, however always exciting and new - while having as a prestigious guide the authoritative knowledge of Carlo Casavecchia. A beautiful journey passing by the famous Barolo municipalities, including a very interesting Lectio Magistralis about Nebbiolo clones, soil types and the respective characteristics they give wines.

 It is then the time to uncork those two bottles to which the good Carlo decided to add a couple of Barolo Piantà, produced by the family winery, vintages 2003 and 1998. The first wine to be poured in glasses was Bianca di Valguarnera 2005, produced with 100% Inzolia and aged in barrique. Eleven years for a white wine of extraordinary elegance and finesse, a crispness making you think about a quite younger wine. A powerful and rich nose, expressing remarkable cleanness with typical Inzolia aromas to which were added the aromas given both by time and the evolution of tertiary characteristics. Sumptuous and very elegant, it seemed in the glass I had a Corton-Charlemagne, giving sensations of butter, honey and vanilla as well as toasted and dried fruits. It is not by chance, in fact, the famous wine from Burgundy gives its best after about ten years. We leave Bianca di Valguarnera in its glass - in order to make it benefit from the work of oxygen even more - and we pass to Duca Enrico 2003.

 Also in this case, astonishing wine. One hundred percent Nero d'Avola, Duca Enrico has been one of the first wines made with this grape to give prestige to the enology of Sicily. An exclusive tasting made even more special thanks to Carlo Casavecchia's comments, with interesting remarks about grapes and vintages of Sicily, of course including anecdotes about the production of those two wines. Duca Enrico 2003, just like Bianca di Valguarnera 2005, did not show its age - thirteen years old - however rich and having an extraordinary complexity, both to the nose and mouth. Peaks of licorice, leather, tar and dark berried fruits - in particular blackberry - having a surprising freshness yet showing a good evolution. A magnificent interpretation of Nero d'Avola. Time, when you have both the right wine and interpreter, is capable of extraordinary magic. At this point, I am sure you are wondering about Barolo Piantà 2003 and 1998. Fantastic and wonderful: 2003 in magnificent shape and superb, 1998 elegant and rich, although it needed a longer time in order to properly express its quality. Two perfect companions for the two Sicilian wines I had brought with me, stupendous interpretations of the Piantà cru and made by Casavecchia winery of Diano d'Alba, rich and robust like the area of Castiglione Falletto can give. Good job, Carlo!

Antonello Biancalana






   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 156, November 2016   
The Magic of TimeThe Magic of Time  Contents 
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