Donnafugata Ben Rye (375ML half-bottle) 2009
Other Dessert from Sicily, Italy
A particularly positive vintage producing grapes of an exceptional quality entirely appreciable in this Ben Rye 2009, a wine of great complexity, harmony and elegance, iconic of the heroic viticulture of Pantelleria.
This is a complex and amply sweet wine with an outstanding freshness. On the nose intense notes of apricot and peach follewed by sweet sensations of dried figs and honey, aromatic herbs and mineral notes.
Its fragrant sweetness makes it a perfect partner for blue cheeses and fois gras. We also recommend it with ricotta-filled desserts or gianduia chocolate.
Wine Enthusiast - "Ben Ryé can claim to be both a cult wine and a commercial wine, and that’s a very difficult goal to achieve. Sweet, syrupy and crisp at the same time, this Sicilian dessert wine opens with a luminous amber color and intense aromas of prune, dried apricot, honey, caramel and custard cream. It’s seriously delicious.
Wine Spectator - "A terrific, electric Italian sweetie, offering syrupy layers of Turkish apricot, date, candied citrus zest and lemon drop flavors that remain focused and concentrated through the almond skin- and tobacco-tinged finish. Complex, with excellence length. Zibibbo. Drink now through 2019. 500 cases imported. "
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2009 Ben Rye bursts from the glass with an exciting array of tangerine blossoms, sage, flowers of all sorts, candied orange peel and burnt sugar. Everything comes together beautifully in this explosive wine that lives up to its reputation as one of Italy's most pedigreed dessert wines. The 2009 is an extroverted Ben Rye full of character. Marzipan and pistachios are among the sensations that linger on an evocative finish full of Mediterranean intrigue. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019. "
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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.