Is it a given to think that a sour wine from the South is supposed to give off heat, colours, scents of fresh and tropical fruit, and intense flavours? Well, picture it in your mind and close your eyes: it actually is! There is an amber wine that emits intense and unexpected aromas that will please and delight you: in fact, you will feel like you’re sitting on a deck chair, on a beach on a small Mediterranean island, sipping your cool wine. Are you curious to know what is this wine of the sun and sea? It is the Malvasia delle Lipari of Carlo Hauner, from the Aeolian Islands DOC, the archipelago that is located to the north-east of Sicily, in the province of Messina.
Carlo Hauner was a multifaceted and far-sighted character: of Bohemian origin, he was born in Brescia (Lombardia) and became known as an architect, painter and internationally renowned designer. In 1963 he travelled for the first time to Salina, one of the Aeolian Islands. He fell in love with the nature, the landscapes and the local people, and therefore he kept returning more and more often, until he decided to settle there permanently. It was on the island that he produced his paintings depicting the surrounding nature, but more importantly, he purchased about twenty hectares of vineyard: he wanted to breathe new life into the cultivation of the Malvasia delle Lipari, an autochthonous grapevine, which at the time had almost been driven to extinction by a phylloxera infestation. In 1973, the wine earned its DOC qualification and began to be exported to Italy and around the world: it was an unconditional success. In 1996 Carlo Hauner died, but his work was not interrupted: his son, Carlo Hauner Jr., carried on in his stead.
To produce Malvasia delle Lipari DOC Passito (wine from sun dried grapes), 95% of Lipari’s Malvasia grapes and 5% of Corinto Nero red grapes (genetically similar to Sangiovese) are required.
Tasting notes of Malvasia delle Lipari Carlo Hauner’s Selection 2014. Bright amber yellow. Dry figs, dates, smoked honey, acacia honey, sweet tobacco, small hints of vanilla: the scents are intense and evolved. The taste flows smoothly and is well concentrated, wide, solar, but balanced. It is very fresh, despite evolution. Every sip calls for another: oblige it!
Curiosity: bottle labels are drawn from the designs of the founder, Carlo Hauner Sr.
Some technical data about vinification: The grapes are harvested after mid-September: the bunches are left on the canes to dry out in the sun: at each sunset they are picked up and placed in an airy room. Malvasia Selezione has an extra peculiarity: it is the fruit of a careful selection of the best grapes whose vinification and subsequent ripening take place in barriques.
Suggested combinations: Sweet almond paste, Sicilian cannoli and cassate, seasoned or grassy cheeses or, more simply, to drink as a meditation wine, while admiring the sea or a magnificent sunset!
Retail price: € 45; $ 52. My rating: 94/100