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Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria DOC

Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria DOC

Dessert Wine | 2021 | Italy, Sicily | 14.5%

Iconic dessert wine from the island of Pantelleria
Regular price £50.70
Regular price Sale price £50.70
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Brilliant amber in colour, Ben Ryé is wonderfully fresh and complex. The bouquet is intense and rich with aromas of apricots and candied citrus zest combined with notes of Mediterranean thyme and rosemary. The palate is well-defined and intense, with pleasant sweetness balanced perfectly with fresh acidity and great minerality.

Product Details

Type Dessert Wine
Origin Italy, Sicily
Vintage 2021
Size 0.375 l
ABV 14.5%
Grape Zibibbo
Vinification Vegan • Vegetarian
Sulphite Content Contains Sulphites
Closure Natural Cork

Production Notes

Grapes were hand harvested and carefully selected in the vineyards. Upon reaching the winery, they underwent selection on a vibrating table before soft pressing. Fermentation took place in stainless-steel tanks at controlled temperatures. The dried grapes were destemmed and selected by hand before they were added to the fresh must in several batches. Ageing took place in stainless-steel tanks for eight months with at least a further 12 months in bottle before release.

Producer Information

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 Marsala started to decline, launching the Donnafugata label in 1983 and championing the potential of the region’s native varieties.

Today, Donnafugata has four estates in Sicily: a modern winery and 283 hectares at Contessa Entellina in the hills east of Marsala, 36 hectares in Vittoria towards the south-eastern point of the island, 68 hectares on the island of Pantelleria, and 18 hectares on the slopes of Etna. Donnafugata means ‘fleeing woman’ and is a reference to Queen Maria Carolina, who escaped the court of Naples in the early 19th century with her husband, Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, 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.

The wines fuse Sicilian tradition with a modern approach. ‘Vigna di Gabri’ blends Ansonica (Inzolia) with Chardonnay, Viognier, Catarratto and Sauvignon Blanc, with percentages differing according to the vintage. On the other hand, ‘Sherazade’ is made solely from Nero d’Avola.

Donnafugata’s masterpiece, however, is ‘Ben Ryé’: a Zibibbo Passito from the island of Pantelleria. Donnafugata arrived here in 1989 and now cultivate 68 hectares in this volcanic island, which is closer to Tunis than Italy. Due to its position, it is constantly swept by Mediterranean winds: Scirocco from the south and Maestrale from the north. The wine production process is heavily influenced by the wind acting on the island, from the unique shape of the “Alberello Pantesco” bush vines (a Unesco World Heritage) to the drying of the grapes. For this reason, Donnafugata named their Passito di Pantelleria DOC ‘Ben Ryé’ from the Arabic ‘son of the wind’.

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