Donnafugata Ben Rye 2022 (375ml)


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“Burnt blood orange, autumnal spices, candied ginger, dried nectarines and a lifting hint of mint create a kaleidoscopic bouquet as the 2022 Ben Ryé blossoms in the glass. Weighty and velvety in feel yet remarkably fresh, it floods the palate with masses of tropical citrus, mango and papaya, all supported by a core of zesty acidity. The 2022 finishes with dramatic length and concentration. A peach nectar resonance and savory spices linger on and on. The 2022 is sure to join the ranks of the best vintages of Ben Ryé. It finished at 200 grams per liter of residual sugar. Drinking window: 2024-2040. 95 points

The Donnafugata portfolio runs the gamut from easy drinking and fresh Sicilian varietal wines to the most serious and age-worthy Bordeaux-style blends—and let’s not forget, one of Italy’s best dessert wines. I’ve followed this estate for nearly two decades as a collector of their Mille e Una Notte (a long-aging blend of Nero d’Avola, Syrah, Petit Verdot) and the iconic Ben Ryé (Passito di Pantelleria). My affection for the portfolio faded slightly as the company grew in the late 2010s, adding wineries in Vittoria and Etna and a collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana. At this time, I’m happy to say that any unevenness within the brand has been fully resolved. Across the board, I can find something to like about each of their offerings, and many continue to be some of Sicily’s top wines, if not all of Italy’s. Winemaker and CEO Antonio Rallo leads the charge, maintaining 30 years of sustainable practices throughout their estates. As for their collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana, I must admit that I find myself constantly surprised by the level of quality and sheer depth presented in this range. These are serious, collectible wines that can stand the test of time. I seldom find that such partnerships are this successful, but I think that speaks to Donnafugata’s desire to deliver only the utmost quality throughout the entire portfolio. Bravo to the Rallo family.”

Eric Guido, Vinous (07/24)