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Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria Wine 2014 37.5 cl
- Joe Fattorini's Tasting Note: "This wine's candied orange aroma and tangy-sweetness hint at an ancient style of wind-dried wine. The 'Dammusi' house on the label and name (derived from the Arabic 'Son of the wind') hint at the waves of invaders on this Sicilian island. Great with little pastries like Sicilian Cannoli with candied fruit."
- The Ben Rye is a bright amber in the glass. The ample and round bouquet opens with aromas of fresh apricots and candied orange peel on a background of aromatic herbs.
- On the palate, the sweetness is well balanced by crisp acidity and great length.
- Awards: 91 points, Wine Spectator.
- Food Pairing Suggestions: Perfect partner for foie gras and blue cheeses as well as with ricotta filled desserts or gianduia chocolate.
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Donnafugata 'Ben Ryé' Passito di Pantelleria Wine is bright and amber in the glass. The ample and round bouquet opens with aromas of fresh apricots and candied orange peel on a balsamic background of aromatic herbs. On the palate the caressing sweetness is well balanced by crisp acidity. An extremely long and satisfying persistence.
A modern take on the classic Moscato Passito, the name Ben Ryé derives from the Arabic `Son of the Wind`, after the wind which sweeps round the island. The Zibibbo vines are planted in the traditional style in hollows in the ground and pruned short and cover 68 hectares. Vines are over 100 years old and are ungrafted. Soils are volcanic in origin, very loose and mineral rich. Yields are approximately four tonnes per hectare.
2011 in Pantelleria was characterised by a long summer. Harvest began on August 17th- first with the picking of those grapes that are left to dry naturally on the vine and then on the 23rd for those used in the production of the must. These favourable weather conditions permitted healthy grapes with great aromatic intensity.
Grapes from the later ripening vineyards were chilled and pressed with the dried grapes added at intervals during fermentation, which took place in temperature controlled stainless steel. The wine remained in stainless steel for four months, followed by six months in bottle after blending. Four kilos of grapes produced one litre of Ben Ryé. Total production was approximately 80,000 bottles. It comes with the vintage information as follows: Vintage: 2011; Grape varieties: 100%Zibibbo; Region: Pantelleria; Winemaker: Stefano Valla; Consultant Winemaker: Carlo Ferrini; Closure: Natural Cork; Alcohol(ABV): 14.5%; Acidity: nag a; Residual Sugar: 198g/l; Wine pH: 3.84; Bottle Sizes: 37.5cl, 75cl.
From the Manufacturer
The Rallo family has made wine in Marsala since 1851 and their ancient cellars tunnel beneath the city. They were one of the first families to begin making high quality table wine when sales of traditional sweet Marsala started to decline, launching the Donnafugata label in 1983 and championing some of the region's native grape varieties.
Today, they have two estates in Sicily: a modern winery and 260 hectares at Contessa Entellina in the hills east of Marsala and 68 hectares on the island of Pantelleria.
Donnafugata means 'fleeing woman' - a reference to Queen Maria Carolina who, with her husband Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, escaped the court of Naples in the early 19th century when Napoleon's troops arrived. The couple took refuge in Sicily at the Santa Margherita Belice palace, also the favourite residence of celebrated writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and depicted on the 'Mille e Una Notte' label.
A modern take on the classic Moscato Passito, the name Ben Ryé derives from the Arabic 'Son of the Wind', after the wind which sweeps round the island. The Zibibbo vines are planted in the traditional style in hollows in the ground and pruned short and cover 68 hectares. The low bush vines of Pantelleria have been described on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a 'creative and sustainable practice'. The vines are over 100 years old and are ungrafted. Soils are volcanic in origin, very loose and mineral rich. Yields are approximately four tonnes per hectare.
Harvesting takes place in 12 different areas with a variety of ripening times. After 15th August, the harvest begins by picking the grapes destined to dry naturally in the sun and the wind for 20-30 days. In September, the less mature vineyards are harvested. During fermentation, the dried grapes are de-stemmed by hand, and added to the fresh must in several batches. During maceration, the dried grapes release their extraordinary qualities of persuasive sweetness, freshness and a special aroma. The wine then ages in stainless steel vats for at least 7 months, followed by 12 months in bottles.
Bright amber, Ben Ryé 2013 offers an ample and enveloping bouquet characterised by delicious aromas of fresh apricots, with candied citrus peel and notes of Mediterranean sage and evergreen shrubs.
On the palate, it surprises with its fruit flavours and fresh sweetness, enlivened by a pleasant vein of acidity. It finishes with a lingering persistence.