Donnafugata Ben Rye (375ML half-bottle) 2007
Other Dessert from Sicily, Italy
The wine displays an extraordinary display of personality and depth initially with its bright amber yellow color. After the first, intense notes of apricots and peaches, the bouquet offers sweet sensations of dried figs, honey, herbs and mineral notes. The wine is impressive on the palate with its outstanding complexity due to a fusing of sweetness, sapidity and softness. A prolonged finish.
A great sipping wine, perfect with herbed cheeses, foie gras and sweet preparations of the Sicilian tradition. The wine should be tasted with gianduia, dried fruit or almond paste.
Wine Spectator - "There's a tawny Port-like character to this sweet Italian wine, delivering notes of dried apricot and date as well as hints of raw walnut giving way to candied orange zest and salted caramel, as latent acidity keeps the long finish fresh. Zibibbo. Drink now through 2020. 350 cases imported."
Wine Enthusiast - "...a glowing example of Sicilian pride... Beautifully integrated with deep aromas of orange zest, honey, chestnut, molasses and dried apricot, the wine is a true incarnation of lavish decadence. The mouthfeel delivers impressive intensity and concentration of flavors."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2007 Passito di Pantelleria Ben Ryé offers compelling notes of candied ginger, dried figs, spices, flowers and minerals. This is a medium-bodied Ben Ryé that comes across as especially beautiful, without the cloying heaviness some vintages have had. The 2007 is a great showing for one of Italy’s most unique sweet wines. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2017. This is a very strong showing from Donnafugata and the Rallo family. The wines this year show notable balance and class."
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In the Italian language, Donnafugata means "fleeing woman". The story goes that in the late 19th century the Queen Maria Carolina after her flight from the court of Naples took refuge in the heart of Belice Valley in Sicily. This event inspired the image of the head of a woman, her hair tossed about by the wind and the Estate name.
Donnafugata grew out of the commitment of a family in Sicily that has always believed in the extraordinary enological potential of its land and has 150 years of experience in producing premium wines. Convinced that it is always necessary to be open to change in order to grow and improve, Giacomo Rallo and his wife, Gabriella, launched a new production project in 1983: Donnafugata. Their adventure took wing from the family’s historic cellars in Marsala and the vineyards at Contessa Entellina in the heart of western Sicily and soared as far as the island of Pantelleria.
Their children, José and Antonio, joined them and the house accelerated its march along the path of Extreme Quality: a project that focused on attention to detail, which clears the way for entrepreneurial decisions that ever more advanced objectives. As for the future, the young Gabriella and Ferdinando are already being "fully immersed" in the family’s activities. View all Donnafugata Wines
About SicilyView a map of Sicily wineries (SIH-sih-lee) Nero d'Avola, this hot and hilly region is diverse. Sicily was at one time more quantity focused than quality, and while it's still producing a great deal of wine, the quality coming out is much better. With poor soil (great for grapes), warm sunshine, little rainfall and good mountain terrains, this little island is perfect for making the good stuff.
Notable FactsThere are still delicious sweet wines coming from Sicily, including Marsala, Moscato di Pantelleria & Malvasia delle Lipari. But the reds are the wines making people stand up and notice. Nero d'Avola is demonstrating its potential for making deep reds with the ability to age. Some winemakers are taking a chance with international varieties, like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. These grapes are sometimes blended with the Nero d'Avola or other native Italian varietals – adding a bit of international sophistication to regional charm.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.