Donnafugata Tancredi Dolce & Gabbana 2018


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“The 2018 Tancredi Dolce & Gabbana is a deep purple color in the glass, with a dark and moody mix of plum sauce, black currants, grilled herbs and balsamic spice. lt’s silky-smooth and elegant with medium-bodied weight, hosting depths of black and red wild berry truits, hints of sour citrus and mocha. Fine tannins are left to linger through the incredibly long and lightly structured finale, as inner violet florals and hints of salted licorice taper off. The Tancredi is primarily composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Nero d’Avola and Tannat, and it is refined for a year in new barriques. It’s a very pretty, yet deep, wine that needs a bit of cellaring to come fully into focus. Drinking window: 2023-2026. 91 points

Donnafugata ranks among the largest estates of Sicily, and yet the level of quality across the board is remarkably high. When you add to that some very attractive labels and marketing, such as their partnership with Dolce and Gabbana, it easy to see why they are so popular. However, collectors shouldn’t hold this against them because at the core of this venerable estate are a number of wines that stand shoulder to shoulder with Italy’s best. The Passito di Pantelleria Ben Ryé is the first that comes to mind, and the 2019 tasted for this report is one of the most complete vintages I’ve ever tasted of it. The Mille e una Notte, a more international-style blending of Nero D’Avola, Petit Verdot and Syrah is usually at the top of the list as well; however this year, it was the difficult 2018 vintage that they had to contend with. Also worth paying attention to is the property’s growing portfolio on Etna, which hasn’t quite found its footing yet (in this critic’s opinion), yet it has the potential to be very strong. Add a selection of affordable deep reds and zesty whites, and you have a recipe for success.”

Eric Guido, Vinous (06/22)