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Donnafugata Ben Rye (375ML half-bottle) 2007

Other Dessert from Sicily, Italy
  • WE94
  • WS94
  • RP91
    14.5% ABV
    • WE93
    • W&S93
    • WS93
    • RP93
    • W&S92
    • WS91
    • RP94
    • WS92
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      14.5% ABV

      Winemaker Notes

      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.

      Critical Acclaim

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      WE 94
      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.
      WS 94
      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.
      RP 91
      Robert Parker's 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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      Donnafugata

      Donnafugata

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      Donnafugata, , Italy
      Donnafugata
      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.

      Napa Valley

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      One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

      Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

      Bordeaux Blends

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      One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

      In the Glass

      Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

      Perfect Pairings

      Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

      Sommelier Secret

      While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

      PBC9005953_2007 Item# 99439

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