Who makes it?
Donnafugata is wine brand of the Rallo family. A family that has their history founded in the Marsala trade but Giacomo and Gabriella started Donnafugata in 1983. In 1995, the first vintage of Mille e una Notte was made. And the previous year was when Stefano Vitale who is the creator of the beautiful labels adorning the bottles.
Mille e una Notte translates into ‘thousand and one nights’.
The family draw their grapes from all over Sicily. Including from the Island of Pantellaria where they make some outstanding wines made from the Muscat that is grown there. The Mille e una Notte is part of their ‘Icon Wines’ collection along with Contrada Marchesa, Fragore and Ben Rye.
To read a review of the Donnafugata Kabir Moscato di Pantellaria please click here, or the Donnafugata Bell’Assai Frappato.
How do they make it?
Donnafugata Mille e una Notte is a red blend, predominately from the Contessa Entellina Estate in South-western Sicily. The wine is a blend of native Sicilian Nero d’Avola, and French varieties Petit Verdot and Syrah, amongst other varieties. Syrah is harvested and processed first and the Nero d’Avola and Petit Verdot a little later.
Each batch is fermented in stainless steel and then aged for 13-14 months in new French oak to round it out. After being bottled, the wines continue to rest for 2 years before sale.
To read more about Nero d’Avola, please click here to read ‘Why you should be drinking Nero d’Avola”.
What does it taste like?
There is a smoky cinnamon lilt to the fresh blackberry, herb and liquorice fruit. The wine is almost opaque in its ruby hues. It is full bodied with shapely tannins smoothed out by some creamy oak. That smokiness on the palate takes on a distinct minerality. It is satisfyingly long and fleshy.
This is an excellent wine now but it is also an outstanding cellar candidate.
What to drink it with?
Roast lamb or venison would be a good start. Or a tomato based pasta, or a meaty stew served with a truffled mash.
Hard cheeses such as cheddar or a manchego.
Quickie review « This is a succulent red from both Sicilian and French varieties. A worthy cellaring wine but excellent to drink now. »
Country of Origin: Sicily, Italy
Tasting Date: October 2021
Price: UK £62 | €52 |USD$73 ++
Drink: now – 8+ years
Needs food: no
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