Ben Ryé Donnafugata 2015 

 May 8, 2019

By  Travis Walker

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Sicily, Italy


Cost: ~ $45

Jess - 4/5

Rating: 94 - Wine Enthusiast

Travis - 5/5

We were gifted this desert wine by some friends.  Wine is always a welcome gift! We typically don’t buy dessert wine and have little experience with it.  So for us to try an Italian dessert wine, was a new venture and quite a discovery.

Ben Ryé Italian Dessert Wine

Not knowing much about dessert wines, I did some research on this one!

It is produced on Island of Pantelleria (south-western Sicily) and is made from 2 different batches of grapes. The 1st batch is harvested in Aug. is withered 3 - 4 weeks to concentrate the sugars and aromas. The 2nd batch is harvested in the Sept harvest.  The grapes from batch 2 are fermented and the dried grapes from batch one are added several times during the fermentation process

Winemaker Notes:

Made from Zibibbo grapes, grown on vines trained using the traditional “alberello pantesco” bush-training system, awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO, Ben Ryé 2015 has a brilliant amber color.  

~ Donnafugata Wines

Wine Notes:

  • Winery: Donnafugata
  • Denomination: Passito di Pantelleria DOC
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • Varietal/Blend: 100% Zibibbo (Muscat of Alexandria)
  • Fermenting/Aging: 7 months in Stainless steel, 12 months in the bottle

Tasting Notes:

Deep golden amber color in this viscous, full-bodied dessert wine. Strong apricot aromas and orange peel. You will find flavors of apricot, golden raisins, & honey with a hint of vanilla. Enjoy the long, sweet, lingering finish.

This Ben Ryé is great on it's own as an aperitif.  However, I think it could be successfully paired with some strong blue cheese or bitter dark chocolate - to balance the sweetness. 

The winery states that Ben Ryé has an aging potential of up to 30 years! IT also recommends that it be served at 57°F.

I highly recommend not only the Ben Ryé, but to keep exploring things you don’t usually try. You never know when you’ll find something you like!  We found something delicious with this one for sure!

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Ben Ryé Italian Dessert Wine Pin 2

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Travis Walker

Jess Walker

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