Country: Italy Region: Sicily Vintage: 2011
Category: Red Wine Color: Red
"The Rallo family has made wine in Marsala since 1851 and their ancient cellars tunnel beneath the city. They were one of the first families to begin making high quality table wine when sales of traditional Marsala started to decline, launching the Donnafugata label in 1983 and championing the potential of the region's native varieties.
Today, Donnafugata has two estates in Sicily: a modern winery and 270 hectares at Contessa Entellina in the hills east of Marsala; and 68 hectares on the island of Pantelleria. Donnafugata means 'fleeing woman' and is a reference to Queen Maria Carolina, who escaped the court of Naples in the early 19th Century with her husband, Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, when Napoleon's troops arrived. The couple took refuge in Sicily at the Santa Margherita Belice palace, also the favourite residence of celebrated writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and depicted on the 'Mille e Una Notte' label.
The wines fuse Sicilian tradition with a modern approach. 'Vigna di Gabri' blends Ansonica (Inzolia) with Chardonnay, Catarratto and Sauvignon Blanc, according to the vintage, to produce a truly unique wine. On the other hand, 'Sherazade' is made solely from Nero d'Avola. The 'Mille e Una Notte', composed almost wholly of Nero d'Avola, is a wine with exceptional structure and remarkable personality.
Donnafugata's masterpiece, however, is the 'Ben Ryé', a Moscato Passito from the island of Pantelleria, which lies closer to Africa than it does to Sicily. Their fusion of a new approach to production with the ancient process of drying the grapes results in a wine that is intense and raisiny, yet fresh and balanced."
Winemaker: Antonio Rallo and Antonino Santoro
Mille e Una Notte is made from Nero d'Avola, Petit Verdot, Syrah and other red grapes from the Contessa Entellina Estate. The vines are planted at densities of 5,000 plants per hectare. They are trained using a counter-espalier system and are cordon spur pruned, The orography is hilly and the soils are clay loam.
A further selection is carried out in the cellar, thanks to a destemmer that is able to discard the green and overripe berries that might still be on the clusters. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel and maceration on the skins lasts for 12 days at temperatures of 26 -30°C. Ageing takes place for 14 months in new French oak barriques, and then in the bottle for at least 36 months.
Mille e Una Notte 2011 is characterised by pronounced aromas that range from red cherry to spices such as pepper and liquorice. The palate is fragrant, perfectly reflecting the nose, with soft and enveloping tannins. The finish is long and persistent. A wine with great personality and elegance.
Food Suggestion: Serve with a variety of pork, lamb or even strong-flavoured fish dishes.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV:14% Acidity [g/l]: 6.3