Tancredi Donnafugata red.
Tancredi Donnafugata red.
Image: Supplied

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the duo behind Dolce&Gabbana, have been champions of luxury and opulence since the brand’s foundation. Cementing their all-encompassing homage to the good life, the Italian icons are releasing their new collaborative bottle of wine in time for the festive season. Tancredi, the prestigious Donnafugata red, is coupled with the creativity of Dolce&Gabbana for a limited, and numbered, collection.

The 2017 Tancredi is limited to just 14,013 bottles and is an innovative blend of the international Cabernet Sauvignon and indigenous-Italian Nero d’Avola. It was a revolutionary risk when created in 1990, and this Dolce&Gabbana collaboration references the richness emerging from change. Besides the original varieties, the wine also features a fine selection of Tannat grapes.

“After a long refining process, this enveloping red distinguishes itself with fruity and balsamic aromas, blending together with delicate hints of cocoa and sweet tobacco; the tannins are perfectly integrated enhancing the long persistence of this wine,” according to the brand.

Evoking an orphaned protagonist of classic Italian novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, “the Leopard,” known as “Il Gattopardo” in its native tongue; the packaging is inspired by the amalgam of modernity and tradition. The Sicilian novel has been an endless source of inspiration and controversy, as the world grapples with rapid urbanisation, cultural disambiguation and the emergence of an underclass. The namesake character, Tancredi Falconeri is the favoured nephew of the prince of Salina and is fated to face the challenges of interesting times and the contradictions of progress.

The wine, with a historically revolutionary and innovative spirit, is coupled with a baroque-esque design, paying tribute to, and celebrating, the contrast between tradition and contemporary values.

The exuberance and grandeur of the Baroque art movement, promoted by the Catholic Church, signalled a movement away from the austerity and simplicity of the protestant art movement. Baroque art used intricate ornamentation and complex collages to celebrate life and tradition. The packaging adorning, and holding the 2017 Tancredi is an homage, albeit ironically, to the Italian classic story of eroding class structures, and the prince’s struggle between abstraction and eternity.

Dolce&Gabbana have used white gold, blue and sinuous lines to symbolise the ebbing exuberance of the feted aristocracy while the geometric figures, with red and green primary colours, refer to the revolutionary values that emerged in Sicily following the unification of Italy. Domenico Dolce once famously said: "When we design, it’s like a movie,” and the political depth and neo-classism of the novel, its later award-winning movie, and the innovative, yet traditional, spirit of the wine are encapsulated by this evocative collaboration.

The iconography of the Italian fashion house, the widely-acclaimed wine and the literary and historical allusions, come together a celebration of Italy but also the perfect gift for a discerning, and well-read, individual. The wine and packaging stands as an ambassador of Italian excellence, through its depth of flavor and culture, and will be available from November exclusively from vinotaria.co.za.

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