Donnafugata Lighea 2011

Two weeks ago I had a conversaion with a friend about Zibibbo, an ancient grape from the Mediterranean. Zack, my friend told me that he recently had a dry Zibibbo and I was like what? All the Zibibbo I had were extremely sweet. It’s worth knowing that Zibibbo is part of the Muscat family and as well all know Muscat is that sweet, syrupy wine that is now heavily consumed in the States. I thought it would be quite interesting to try a dry Zibibbo and because Zack said he really liked the wine he tried I decided to buy a bottle of it online, to be precise I ordered a bottle of Donnafugata Lighea. 2011 vintage because I found no US online shop that carries the 2012 vintage.

Donnafugata is an Italian winery from Sicily. Sicily is one of the world’s most important regions for Zibibbo production but the grape is actually of Egyptian origin. Next to Cosumano and Planeta, Donnafugata is one of my favorite wineries  from Sicily. The two flagship wines from Donnafugata are Ben Rye, a sweet Zibibbo and Mille E Una Notte, a Nero d’Avola.

Lighea ages in stainless steel and 2 months in the bottle before it’s released on the market.

The wine has a pale yellow color. Medium intense nose with aromas of tropical fruit, candid citrus, rosemary, pear and melon. Smells just like the Ben Rye and the wine pretty much fools you because you think it’s a sweet wine when you smell it but it’s not. In the mouth, Linghea is very, very, very, dry. Almost too dry! The wine has a low acidity and is fresh. There were flavors of peach. Linghea is light and the finale was persistently long.

Linghea is a complicated wine because its nose is so misleading but I strongly recommend that you give this wine a try. It’s available for just $16. Outstanding QPR. According to Donnafugata, professional wine critic Luca Maroni rated this vintage with 95 points.

I’m looking forward to try the Linghea again. It was truly spectacular! What’s your opinion on dry Zibibbo?

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6 thoughts on “Donnafugata Lighea 2011

  1. I tried the 2012 vintage at the VinItaly trade show. It was the first time that I tasted a dry Zibibbo. To be honest I did not like this wine a lot because the bouquet reminded me too much of a dessert wine. Definitely an interesting idea to produce a dry Zibibbo but I think the wine needs a little bit more fine-tuning.

  2. Very nice and interesting review, Frank: although, like you, I love Donnafugata and their wines (beside those that you rightly mentioned, have you tried the Tancredi?), I have never had the Lighea. When I come across it I will definitely give it a shot. Among quality Sicilian producers, beside the three excellent ones that you mentioned, have you ever had anything from Firriato or Benanti? I find them both excellent too.

    • Thank you Stefano.
      I haven’t tried the wines from Benanti but I think I have tasted a Firriato once or twice but I am not sure. I will look up these producers and try their wines.

      Let me know what your think about the Lighea. I would love to hear an expert opinion on this wine 🙂 I really liked it though but my wife didn’t appreciate it as much because of its rather “unexpected” nose.

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