No words can be sweeter than a critic’s review beginning with “Here comes the good stuff.” So wrote founder and Director of The Wine Advocate Robert Parker recently, on his tasting of the Donnafugata Passito di Pantelleria Ben Ryé.
“Explosive in its intensity and un-hinged in its sweet abundance. The parallels run similar to a subdued and elegant crème brûlée against an over the top cassata Siciliana with candied fruit, almond marzipan and creamy ricotta. Ben Ryé is delivered with technicolor brilliance and psychedelic potency.”
Unsurprisingly Parker scored the Passito di Panterlleria a confident 98/100.
The most beautiful things, often grow out of the toughest conditions. Like diamonds forming under pressure, the same can be said for the gem that is Ben Ryé 2001 Passito di Pantelleria.
"Vineyards close to the sea deliver power and vineyard sites in the higher altitudes deliver finesse.” confirms owner Antonio Rallo finding that the distinct nature of the region couldn’t be replicated anywhere else.
The much revered pastil dessert wine is made from Zibibbo (or Moscato di Alessandria) grapes on the 83-square kilometer island of Pantelleria, growing in harsh conditions with high exposure to adverse weather and terrain.
Understandably impressed Parker’s review finds the Passito to be “a knockout wine that represents the pinnacle of quality in a pastil dessert wine. The bouquet shoes peach cobbler honey-roasted almond, candied orange zest and Marsala-like caramel. The wine is at a perfect moment in it’s drinking window…. This wines really has it all, including crisp acidity that is perfectly matched to the wine’s supple and creamy texture.”
These vines are so unique, they have been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List for agricultural practices and cultural heritage. Donnafugata, with 11 different sites to choose from, have a myriad of possibilities and exciting avenues to explore through flexible harvest times, ripeness and blending components.
So say what you will about the difficulties of rugged conditions but as the saying goes, and in this case particularly, we think the juice is definitely worth the squeeze.