In varietate concordia. TN + SG = Douscana
I have enjoyed reading a book a while ago, the title was "Five Equations That Changed the World: The Power and Poetry of Mathematics".
You can find Isaac Newton and the Universal Law of Gravity, Daniel Bernoulli and the Law of Hydrodynamic Pressure, Michael Faraday and the Law of Electromagnetic Induction, Rudolph Clausius and the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and obviously the famous E = mc^2 for which there is no need to state the scientist it belongs to given his immense notoriety.
However, one formula was missing, the one I have mentioned at the very beginning
TN + SG = Douscana.
I assume it is only because the book was written in 1995 and this formula has been devised in 2015. We do come very close to changing the world here, oenologically speaking at least, and we are certainly going to mess up the hair of the purists of monovarietal and almost give a heart attack to the orthodox traditionalists.
But what does mathematics have to do with wine, you must be wondering?
Let’s take a step back then, (I often say let’s rewind the tape, but most millennials just don’t get it) and take a nice stroll into the past.
History. History of Art.
Every revolutionary idea is regarded to be heretical at first. And it is indeed the fil rouge of hermeticism that will lead us to the discovery of this wine. The Douscana. A heretical wine?
Anno Domini 1723, an ancestor of mine (8 generations ago) Niccolò Nasoni, a world-famous painter, sculptor and architect, was forced to leave Tuscany and move to the court of the Portuguese King as he did not exactly share the ideas of the Catholic Church so to speak.
In Oporto, with his many works, especially the renovation of the facade of the Cathedral and the design and construction of the Tower of Clerics, he contributed to take Portuguese Baroque to a higher level, giving it a peculiar elegance and style that made it famous worldwide.
More specifically, and this is what matters the most to our story, it turned the Portuguese Baroque, which was then complex, imposing, redundant, full and heavy, into sometimes much more elegant and graceful, bringing lightness, delicacy and brightness to its shapes. This is known now as the Rococo style.
The analogy with the famous formula TN + SG = Douscana is shocking and certainly not a coincidence. Here SG stands for Sangiovese, which is cultivated and vinified in Tuscany, on the hills of Chianti near Gambassi, and is then sent to Portugal, where it partners with the TN, Touriga National, to create this unique blend called Douscana.
Touriga National is a grape variety mostly famous for Porto, but it has been used to make dry wines in the Douro appellation for some decades now. Given the predominantly dry environment in which the grapes grow, it yields a wine with a thick, dark impenetrable color, rich in softness, round and full bodied.
Our Sangiovese on the other hand, is a little less friendly, sharper and rebellious and therefore gives the wine structure, elegance, longevity and brightness.
There you have it, the Douscana 2015. A very interesting, complex and intense wine. Pleasantly peculiar and different. Surely a few more years of aging will do it some good. It will be interesting to follow the evolution of this vintage but also to taste the next ones. (I invited myself to the 2016 preview, thanks Emanuela)
The heretical Douscana? Rococo... I would call it a Rococo wine.
If heresy and innovation are represented by Douscana, orthodoxy and tradition are fully enhanced by the other labels, where Sangiovese finds its full expression in Chianti (The boss), Riserva (Italo) and even in its maximum declination as a Brunello (Somnio).
All in the classic Tuscan way, important wines in which the terroir and Sangiovese stem out in all their natural typicity, made of energy, elegance and persistence. It feels almost as if it were easy to make wine in this part of Tuscany when nature decides to gift winemakers with splendid grapes. Always remember however that here we are talking 5 generations of winemakers. Tradition cannot be improvised, and you can feel all the difference when it comes to wine. (Don't try this at home!)
There is no better way to wrap it all up but with a nice glass of Vin Santo, made from white grapes (Trebbiano and Malvasia) dried out as much as possible on the vine and then on trellises until fully mature, pressed and left for at least 5 years in caratelli – small barrels of over 80-100 years where a small part from each vintage is left inside year after year. And Vin Santo paired with a fragrant slice of a freshly baked cake made by Adele (the mother) is truly….
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