Donnafugata Mille e una Notte 2019


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“Hauntingly dark and spicy, the 2019 Mille e Una Notte opens with a burst of mentholated herbs, cloves, shaved cedar and crushed blackberries. It’s seamlessly silky and elegant throughout. Textural waves of ripe red and black fruits ride a core of vibrant acidity, leaving balsam herbal tones, cocoa and fine-grained tannins in their wake. The 2019 finishes dramatically long and structured, with a twang of tart red plums and sage. This is a radiant yet powerful rendition of Mille e Una Notte, which will benefit from and demand cellaring. Drinking window: 2025-2033. 94 points

These new releases from Donnafugata are very strong overall, showing a continued increase in overall quality across the board. However, the 2021 Ben Ryé lacks the soaring aromatics and textural depths of the 2019 I tasted last year. Of course, this is likely to do more with the arid conditions of the vintage than anything else. Still, it’s a wonderful effort and remains what I consider to be one of Italy’s greatest dessert wines. The balanced 2019 vintage is on full display through the Cabernet-dominated Dolce & Gabbana Tancredi and Nero d’Avola-dominated Mille e una Notte. Both wines show tremendous potential. I’m not a huge fan of marketing partnerships in the wine world, such as emblazing “Dolce & Gabbana” on the label, but this is a serious wine, and it’s obvious that Donnafugata is putting a lot of effort into making it very special. Their continued efforts on Mount Etna are also noteworthy and are starting to come into their own.”

Eric Guido, Vinous (09/23)