Saturday, June 23, 2012


New taste bud! Enjoy Spain!
In the raffle from the Cakebread tasting at Wine Encounter, I won Donnafugata tasting. The room was packed, which was not expected because I did not know who Donnafugata was. Apparently plenty of San Diegans did! Silvia, the North America representative was there to talk more about the wines and he was a great storyteller. According to him was the first tasting of Donnafugata in San Diego. Wooohoo!

Donnafugata is a Sicilian wine producer with 150 years of experience. Donnafugata, meaning woman in flight, refering to Queen Maria Carolina who took refuge in the winery estate, which was so named because of the Sicilian author G. Tomasi di Lampedusa in his most famous work, The leopard. This winery is definitely devoted to great wines with literature interwined with each bottle. 
Land in Literature
Literally translates as the land in literature. It is the Roman name given to city of Entella where the vines are. It is made from mainly Catarratto, which I have not tried this grape before so it was fun (yeay! New varietal to the Quest List)! This wine had plenty of bouquet. Light and floral, this was smooth and almost seems like it has a touch of cream like freshly churned cream with infused flowers like lavender. Yummy! And it is decently priced! OOOo

I want it!
This dry style Zibbibo (Quest List : Muscat d'Alexanderie from Pantelleria - The ancient Cossyra, just 60km east of the Tunisian coast) named for Daughter of the Wind. It used to be conquered by the Arabs, who named the island Bent El Riah (Daughter of the Wind) in Arabic. These vines were trained in extremely low bush to protect them from the strong winds on the island. 

This wine has the most wonderful aroma! Full floral bouquet with juicy longan, peaches and rose syrup. Probably the best in terms of aroma. The taste however was a little disappointing after smelling it. It was not good tasting with a little soapiness and bitter taste. OOo

Silvia convinced me by saying it pairs very well with spicy food. So perfect with the food pairing, I will enjoy it more, especially with such an outstanding aroma! The label is of a mermaid for the mermaid poem by G. Tomasi di Lampedusa.

This is the last name of Angelica from the book-made-into-movie The leopard (More accurately The Serval) by G. Tomasi di Lampedusa. This light-medium bodied wine is young, reflecting the character from the literature. Toasty and juicy, this wine had hints of spice with dark fruitiness. Well balanced with soft tannins and good acidity,  it definitely needs more time and has plenty of potential. OOOo

Prince Tancredi
Named after Prince Tancredi in the leopard, this is a fairly matured wine compared to Sedara. Made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Nero d'Avola, this wet earthy wine has good juicy dark fruitiness with hints of dark chocolate, black currant and a touch of spice. Well balanced with smooth structured tannins, this will definitely pair well with red meat. OOOO

Also made from Zibbibo, but those that are destined to dry naturally in the sun and that made it through three selections! The name is derived from Bent El Riah, the Arabic name for the island of Pantelleria. Although they say that it means 'Son of the Wind', on the Wikipedia page for Pantelleria, it means Daughter of the Wind. Bent in Arabic definitely means Daughter so perhaps Donnafugata needs to tweak their description a little. Or perhaps Ben Rye in italian means Son of the wind? I doubt it though.

This dessert wine after triple selection is very smooth like one is having silky Mangosteens. The aroma even reminds me of mangosteen (how I miss the fruit!) and of raisins and apricot. It tasted of sweet plums, figs and honey with hints of toastiness (drying in the sun). Picked from the oldest vines, Ben Rye will be a great dessert! OOOO


This has been such a fun tasting! I really enjoyed how there is a story behind each wine, the label, the grapes etc. It takes the tasting experience to another level! Silvia has been wonderful in departing those stories onto us. I will definitely look out for their wine in the future. Donnafugata!


  1. hi. are you also doing a phd on wine as well? very well written reviews!


    1. Thank you Dingyong! Haha I wish. Double PhD!

    2. September 7th to 29th! :D Go scout some wine places now! :D