Sunday, September 10, 2017

Donnafugata highlights of 2017

One of the places I've traveled to for a weekend many years ago and am dying to go back to in Italy is it's largest island, Sicily. One of the popular wineries of the island that I've written about a couple times now is Donnafugata. I'm pleased to share with you some of their latest releases including their 2016 SurSur Grillo, the 2016 Lighea Zibibbo and the 2015 Sedara blend.

Donnafugata Sur Sur Grillo, Lighea and Sedara
Donnafugata SurSur 2016 – Grillo Sicilia DOC

Grillo is the indigenous white grape of Sicily that typically lends a lot of tropical flavors due to the intense heat and sun of the island allowing the grapes to reach full ripeness. The name of the grape, grillo, translates to cricket, and is also a representation of good luck. In ancient times the Arabs were one of the cultural influences that inhabited Sicily and cricket in Arabic means sur sur, hence the name of the wine.

This wine smells like spring in a glass. Fresh, white flowers and a little grassiness. Immediate peach notes hit the palate with some melon. A pleasurable, easy drinking, refreshing white wine (SRP $23)

Wines of Sicility with Donnafugata
Donnafugata Lighea 2016 - Zibibbo Sicilia DOC

Another grape stemming from the arabic word, zabib, meaning dried grapes is zibibbo. It's called zibibbo in Sicily, but it's also known as moscato and part of the muscat family. It is typically best known for producing the wine, passito di pantelleria, hailing from the island of Pantelleria off the western coast of Sicily. In one of my favorite Italian books, Vino Italiano, they describe a good wine of this area “is like biting into the plumpest golden raisin you can imagine”. It can also be produced in a dry style as is found here with Donnafugata's Lighea. The labeling shows off the vibrant colors that radiate off the island of Pantelleria.

Another fragrant, florally wine of pears and tropical luscious fruits also found on the palate. It's a dry, round wine with nice minerality . (SRP $20)
Donnafugata Pantelleria wine estate
Donnafugata's Pantelleria estate
2015 Donnafugata Sedàra - Red Sicilia DOC

Sicily's most prominent red grape, nero d'avola (also known as calabrese), is what predominately makes up Donnafugata's Sedàra wine. In addition, it is blended with cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and additional grapes. I love the labeling of Donnafugata and the Sedara shows the cellars of Contessa Entellina and the land in which the grapes are grown. Nero d'avola typically produces dark, inky colored wines comprised on dark berries with good structure and tannin. Many may compare it to syrah.

Filled with loads of red fruits including cherries and strawberries. A fresh, crisp red with some spice and soft tannins. SRP $16
Donnafugata Contessa Entellina winery
Contessa Entellina estate
*These wines were received as samples, but as always opinions are my own.  Pictures mostly sourced from Donnafugata.


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