Donnafugata is positioned at the top of “Sicily Report”, in the famous Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate magazine.
Monica Larner, american journalist, tasted more than 300 wines from all over Sicily, and just published two reports.
In the “Sicily Report” two Donnafugata wines are at the top: first – overall – is the Passito Ben Ryé 2016 rated 96/100 followed by 95+/100 Mille e una Notte 2015 as best red wine. In the “Etna Report” our new icon wine, the red cru Fragore 2016 Contrada di Montelaguardia Doc was placed among the best wines from this area.
2016 Chiarandà: 91/100 – Beautifully smooth and supple, the 2016 Sicilia Contessa Entellina Chiarandà was born in a slightly cooler vintage and shows a great sense of linearity and precision as a result. This Sicilian Chardonnay is fermented in steel, and only half of the total mass eventually goes into barrique and tonneaux for a brief six months of aging. The wine shows good depth and volume with orchard fruit and sweet nectarine. Some 30,000 bottles were made.
2016 Tancredi: 93/100 – Donnafugata’s Tancredi is one of Sicily’s most popular red wines, and it’s easy to see why. The 2016 Tancredi is rich and soft at the same time, with a very pleasing texture that caresses the palate with dark fruit, spice and plum. The wine is mostly a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Nero d’Avola, although some Tannat and other grapes are thrown in. It ages in oak for 14 months. This is a complete effort that boasts thick layering and volume. Some 89,000 bottles were made.
2015 Mille e Una Notte: 95+/100 – Donnafugata’s showcase wine is the always delightful Mille e Una Notte, with 40,000 bottles released in this vintage. The 2015 Sicilia Mille e Una Notte is a beautifully saturated and dark wine, with an elegant full-bodied style and plenty of black fruit and plum that shines bright. The quality of those primary aromas is radiant and fresh. The wine shows its complexity in a second wave of spice, leather and black olive. The blend is mostly Nero d’Avola with Petit Verdot, Syrah and other grapes, and the wine rests in oak barrel for 14 months. This vintage is particularly rich, soft and exuberant.
2017 Cerasuolo di Vittoria Floramundi: 91/100 – The pretty 2017 Cerasuolo di Vittoria Floramundi is a blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato that shows a tight, luminous and snappy personality. This is a red wine to drink with snapper or shellfish. It opens to a medium ruby color and lean consistency with wild berry aromas, blueberry, wild rose and a playful touch of bitter almond. Some 89,000 bottles were made.
2018 Etna Rosato Sul Vulcano: 90+/100 – Welcome to the first rosato to join the Donnafugata family of wines. The 2018 Etna Rosato Sul Vulcano is an unoaked Nerello Mascalese that opens to a very pretty, pale pink color with soft tones of wild berry, apple and mint tea. Delicate mineral sensations give the wine beautiful focus and clarity. The presentation is excellent all around. I could see this as a great accompaniment to a Moroccan-style chicken tagine. Some 16,000 bottles were made.
2016 Etna Contrada Montelaguardia Fragore: 93/100 – Here is a new and exciting wine from the folks at Donnafugata. The 2016 Etna Rosso Contrada Montelaguardia Fragore is a compact and mid-weight expression that opens to a pretty garnet color with dark ruby hues. The bouquet is redolent of wild berry and cassis, but you also get hints of wild rose, smoke, tar and volcanic smoke. As a first vintage of this wine from Etna, the folks at Donnafugata have hit the nail on the head. This is a great wine for a blackened tuna steak on the grill. Some 15,000 bottles were made.
2016 Passito di Pantelleria Ben Ryé: 96/100 – Rather than pair this wine with a Sicilian dessert, serve it as the Sicilian dessert. The 2016 Passito di Pantelleria Ben Ryé is a radiant and beautifully fragrant edition with white raisins, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, caramel, preserved lemon, dried sage, apricot and sea salt. I could go on. The wine is light on its feet thanks to that crisp acidity, yet it has the volume and richness to coat your palate in all its luscious glory. The whole package is explosive. This dessert wine is usually sold in a 750-milliliter bottle (with some 80,000 bottles made), but you can also find it in a smaller 375-milliliter bottle.