Ben Ryé 2008, the fruit of Donnafugata’s 20th harvest on Pantelleria, is a limited edition dedicated to the admirers of Ben Ryé: 6,465 bottles have been preserved in the company’s cellars for longer aging and to give unusual sensations,refined and powerful, of the island of the sun and the wind.
Island of volcanic origin, Pantelleria is a rare example of heroic viticulture where the landscape exudes the farmer’s toil, building terraces and dry stone walls, and cultivating by hand the vineyard shaped by the wind. Narrative elements that can be found on the label. The vineyards, where Donnafugata cultivates Zibibbo, are located in 12 districts that differ in soil, altitude, exposure and vine age (featuring some specimen which are more than 100 years old).
From the technical point of view, Ben Ryé 2008 displays extraordinary complexity and exceptional aging potential. The normal climatic trend of the vintage and the tried and tested vineyard management led to an excellent harvest.
On Pantelleria the harvest began on 17 August and continued until 20 September, depending on the different ripening periods of Zibibbo (Moscato d’Alessandria) which is cultivated by Donnafugata in the different districts.
The good temperature range between day and night contributed to enhance the aromatic richness of the Zibibbo, alberello trained on volcanic soil. The withering of the grapes, in the island’s sun and wind, was optimal.
Ben Ryé 2008 is bright amber. Notes of dates, dried figs, carob and flowers combine on the nose; soft and round in the mouth, with excellent acidity that emphasizes the length and persistence.
Ben Ryé, from the Arabic “Son of the Wind”, for this limited edition, sees a special label that draws on the narration of the classic label, reinterpreting and enhancing it and on which the founder Giacomo Rallo is proud to put his signature, 20 years after the first vintage: that of 1989.
Ben Ryé 2008: Acknowledgements and awards
Wine Spectator 93/100 pts
“An intense sweetie, boasting concentrated peach compote, orange marmalade and golden raisin flavors backed by bright acidity, as spice, butterscotch and candied orange peel notes lead to a fruit-filled finish. Zibibbo. Drink now through 2020.” Bruce Sanderson
Wine Enthusiast – #22 OF 100 TOP WINES OF THE YEAR, 95/100 pts
“Ben Ryé is always a fabulous dessert wine from Pantelleria (an island off the coast of Sicily) and this expression shows beautiful liveliness and personality. You’ll get aromas of stone fruit, apricot, honey, almond paste and even a spicy touch of fresh ginger. It feels smooth, rich and totally decadent.” Monica Larner
Slow Wine – Slow Food 2011
“The Rallo family has made extraordinary efforts for the viticulture of Pantelleria that it was able to relaunch at a global level. Their Ben Ryé 2008 is a very rich wine, concentrated, with classic hints of apricots, savory and long. The quintessence of Pantelleria: wind, sun and perfumes of the Mediterranean.”
Duemilavini AIS Bibenda 2010 – Cinque Grappoli
“Golden yellow tending towards amber. Heady and fascinating olfactory profile of dried apricots, barley sugar, candyfloss, candied orange peel, saffron, notes of iodine, oregano and orange blossom honey. Harmoniously sweet, soft and savory on the palate. Its incredible taste-olfactory continuous progression is striking.”
Italy’s Best Wines 2010 – D’Agata & Comparini among “Italy’s 100 Best Wines”
“A simply great Passito di Pantelleria, as there are practically none others, at least qualitywise. The grapes come from eleven different sites, with different maturation curves and the resulting wine is a beauty, with plenty of peach and apricot aromas and flavours, and a very long and refreshing citrusy finish. Absolutely splendid sweet wine.”
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