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Icon Wines collection: Great wines with unique personalities Ben Ryé 2018 offers an extraordinary rich bouquet with outstanding aromas obtained from the dried grapes: apricots and candied orange peel. The palate is very fresh and intense, balancing perfectly the sweetness followed by a long and satisfying persistence.
Denomination: Passito di Pantelleria DOC
Grapes: Zibibbo (Muscat of Alexandria)
Production Area: island of Pantelleria (South-Western Sicily); districts of Khamma, Tracino, Mueggen, Serraglia, Gibbiuna, Barone, Martingana, Bukkuram, Favarotta, Punta Karace, Bugeber, Karuscia
Terrains & Climate: altitude from 20 to 400 m a.m.s.l. (65-1,312 ft); complex orography, typically volcanic, soils mainly cultivated on terraced slopes; sandy soils, originating from lava, that vary between sub-acidic and neutral reaction; deep, fertile soils, well-endowed with minerals. Mild, dry winters. Windy summers
Vineyards: the vines are cultivated, in hollows, low alberello pantesco. The low bush vine of Pantelleria has been inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as a “creative and sustainable” practice. Planting density of 2,500 plants per hectare (1,000 an acre) with a yield of about 4–5 tons per hectare (1,6-2 tons an acre). The average age of the vines is about 60 years; some are ungrafted and survived phylloxera exceeding 100 years in age.
Vintage: with about 379 mm* of rainfall in 2018 compared to an average of 434 mm** in this area, the vintage was less rainy. This resulted in the need, in some vineyards, to perform cluster thinning in order to balance the crop load with soil water availability, to favor optimal ripening of grapes. On Pantelleria, in quantitative terms, a drop of about 20% was registered compared to the company’s average of recent vintages. *VINTAGE: in Pantelleria we consider the period from October 1 to September 30
Rainfall: data collected by SIAS, (Sicilian Agrometeorological Service); **the average is calculated from vintage 2013 to vintage 2018.
Harvesting: manual harvesting of grapes into crates with careful selection of the grapes in the vineyard. The Zibibbo harvest at Donnafugata traditionally continues for about 4 weeks, in the districts where the company has its vineyards that differ in altitude, exposure, proximity to or distance from the sea; this year, instead, – due to early ripening – the harvest was shorter, starting on August 17th and concluding on September 4th
Vinification: once the grapes reach the winery, they undergo further selection on a vibrating table before soft pressing. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel at controlled temperatures; the dried grapes – added to the fresh must in several batches – are de-stemmed and selected by hand. During maceration, the dried grapes release their extraordinary legacy of sweetness, freshness and a very personal aroma. The vinification process (fermentation and maceration) last over 1 month. Aging takes place in stainless steel for 8 months and at least 12 months in bottle before being released to the market.
Alcohol 14.12% ABV,
Total acidity: 7.3 g/l, pH 3.83
Sugar content: 196 g/l.
Tasting Notes: (June 24, 2019): Ben Ryé 2018 offers an extraordinary rich bouquet with outstanding aromas obtained from the dried grapes: apricots and candied orange peel. It presents delicate hints of Mediterranean scrub (maquis). The palate is very fresh and intense, balancing perfectly the sweetness followed by a long and satisfying persistence.
Longevity: over 30 years
Food and wine: perfect with dry pastries, chocolate and jam or ricotta tarts. Try also with blue cheese and foie gras. Extraordinary on its own, as a meditation wine. Serve it in tulip-shaped goblets of medium size, slightly bellied; uncork at time of serving; excellent at 14° C (57° F).
When you desire to: make an exclusive and memorable experience. Enjoy unique, enduring sensations. Enhance your collection with inimitable, age-worthy wines. Give a precious gift.
Dialogue with art: from the Arabic term “Son of the Wind” because the wind sweeps constantly around the grape clusters on Pantelleria. And the island’s winds bring with them a profusion of fragrances so powerful that you can touch them. An author label telling the love, the care and the effort of heroic viticulture on an island unique and fascinating. A fresh and enchanting portrait that reveals its essence.
First Vintage: 1989.