Ben Ryé Passito di Pantelleria Donnafugata Grape: Zibibbo Region: Passito di Pantelleria DOC Year: 2014 Alcohol: 14.4% Price: £39 Retailer: Hay Wines UK
This is my third attempt to write about the new Dolce & Gabbana rosé. That’s because I am in two minds about another designer rosé. My nose scrunches up in ‘serious critic mode’ before I have even taken a whiff. Oh, so serious.
And yet, I’ve never had a bad wine from Donnafugata in Sicily. At whatever the price level.
From grandparents to teenagers, I’ve found Donnafugata wines enjoyed by all at a large family dinner table. In itself, making the wines very Sicilian and very Dolce and Gabbana.
Dolce & Gabbana’s Mediterranean style
In fact, is there a fashion brand more associated with Sicily than Dolce & Gabbana?
One half of Dolce & Gabbana, Domenico Dolce, was born in Polizzi Generosa – near Palermo, Sicily – and his family owned a small clothing business, where Domenico worked from childhood.
On the new wine collaboration with Donnafugata, Dolce and Gabbana said, ‘We are Italian, we love to eat and drink a good wine, like Rosa, born from our collaboration with Donnafugata. For us it is like tasting the smells of our land, seeing it’s colours again and feeling its atmosphere.’
Not the easiest time for a wine launch. Unless it’s a rosé.
Drinking rosé appears to be the drink of choice for 2020 as Champagne sales plummet as world in no mood for festive fizz under lockdown. It’s true, we are not exactly celebrating right now; but there’s nothing wrong with a rosé to take our mind off all the Zoom and gloom.
And the numbers seem to agree. When lockdown restrictions eased in May, rosé sales in one U.K. supermarket were up 407% compared to 2019.
Although the colour is as pale as the popular Provencal rosé, traditional Sicilian grapes make up the blend: a lighter-style Nerello Mascalese and a sparky dark Nocera grape.
Holidays. In a fashion.
The Dolce & Gabbana rosé collaboration with Donnafugata had me straight back to Sicily on holidays.
The geometric label design is inspired by traditional designs on Sicilian carts. The colours are calming as a rose quartz and a sunny day by the sea…
That’s where I’d like to be, I dream away… I’d like to be somewhere by the beach for lunch, having a big plate of pasta, where every glass of wine requires to be drunk with dark sunglasses.
Instead we are at home. Summer 2020 has been cancelled. The shimmery, pale-pink, Sicilian wine brings back good memories of warm Sicilian nights: “jasmine, enriched with delicate hints of wild strawberry, peach and bergamot“
Dolce & Gabbana’s Mediterranean style is an imaginary world. But it’s not a bad place to visit when reality is so very, very real.
Where to find it
Available on the Dolce & Gabbana website from June. Imported to the U.K by Liberty Wines.