2011 Donnafugata "Ben Ryè" Passito di Pantelleria (375ml)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright yellow-gold color. Pungent, tangy aromas of orange peel, grapefruit, lime blossom, apricot and sweet spices on the mesmerizingly pure nose. Juicy, intense and penetrating, with razor-sharp acidity lifting and focusing the thick, concentrated grapefruit, honeyed peach, orange peel, cinnamon and ginger flavors. This shows a near-perfect sugar/acid balance, and comes across as light on its feet for such a rich, concentrated wine. The slowly building, palate-staining finish goes on and on, with repeating floral and honey notes. This is always Donnafugata's best wine, and this vintage is one of their best ever. Readers should be aware that moscato di Alessandria is usually called zibibbo in Italy (which is also its official name, by the way). (100% moscato di Alessandria)
Donnafugata "Ben Ryè" has been called "one of Italy's most pedigreed dessert wines" by Wine Advocate (6/2011). Made from the Zibibbo (Moscato d'Alessandria) grape, it is just 14.5% abv, so it's not portlike, and makes a great partner for blue cheese, ricotta-filled desserts, and chocolates. The winery suggests, too, that it be considered as "An extraordinary meditation wine, it's the ideal companion while reading a book or listening to music. We recommend it as sweet ending of an elegant dinner as well as your first date. Complex and ample sweet wine with an outstanding freshness. On the nose intense notes of apricot and peach follewed by sweet sensations of dried figs and honey, aromatic herbs and mineral notes."