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One of the highlights of the Circle of Wine Writers trip to Sicily – a superb tasting and visit to the Donnafugata Winery. Perhaps also the top wine of the whole trip, the Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria. Not just one vintage mind but three – 2004, 2006 and 2010, tasted in the cavernous wine barrel store. While the wine isn’t graced by one of the funky, beautifully designed labels as others from the Donnafugata stable (I’d go so far as saying it is a rather dull label in comparison) the wine is a beaut! And marvellously the wine isn’t astronomically expensive with Harrods listing The Ben Rye 2006 at £42.95. (OK, so not exactly cheap…)

The name Donnafugata (‘woman in flight’) refers to the history of Queen Maria Carolina, (Queen of Naples 1752-1814), wine of Ferdinand IV of Bourbon. In 1799, she fled Naples in advance of the arrival of Napoleons army and sort refuge in the part of Sicily where the winery’s vineyards now stand.

“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, acidity and softness.” Harrods

Donnafugata Ben Rye, Passito di Pantelleria is this weeks Sunday Wine Shot. (Two for the price of one this week).

Donnafugata Ben Rye, Passito di Pantelleria

Three vintages of the sublime Donnafugata Ben Rye, Passito di Pantelleria – 2004, 2006, 2010

Donnafugata Ben Rye, Passito di Pantelleria

Three vintages of the sublime Donnafugata Ben Rye, Passito di Pantelleria – 2004, 2006, 2010

1 Comment »

  1. Roger Sleigh says:

    Good to see this wine get some exposure, like you say it certainly deserves it as it offers good value for money compared to lots of other dessert wines from more renowned parts of the wine landscape. great people too.

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