Donnafugata hails from Sicily, drawing its name from the Italian novel The Leopard, whose estates bore the name of Donnafugata (literally “woman in flight”). Imagery and motifs from The Leopard play a part in virtually every wine that Donnafugata sells, but you can be forgiven for not delving into the backstory as you drink down the company’s wines.
I recently had the opportunity to taste the winery’s current portfolio. Notes for each of the six wines follow.
Donnafugata Wine Portfolio
2008 Donnafugata Anthilia / $15 / A- / ansonica and catarratto blend, a peachy/apricot/almost viognier-like wine with no oak
2006 Donnafugata Chiaranda / $40 / B+ / chardonnay and ansonica, perfumy and custardy; chewy; winemaker’s notes allude to “peanut butter” — try for it!
2008 Donnafugata Sedara / $15 / A- / complicated for such a simple wine, a nero d’avola blend; cherry jam, dark cocoa, and raisins, no oak in the winemaking
2004 Donnafugata Tancredi / $40 / B / 70% nero, 30% cabernet; cab is huge in this, with charcoal and smoke and heavy tannin; needs time to open up (thoughts from 2007 here)
2005 Donnafugata Mille e una Notte / $90 / A / 90% nero; complex; leather but doesn’t outpace the fruit, velvety mouthfeel, could stand many more years in the bottle (pictured)
2007 Donnafugata Ben Rye (375ml) / $40 / A / Donnafugata’s famous muscat, with honey, crème brulee, butterscotch, and a raisiny finish