2016 Mazzei Zisola Achilles Syrah

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  • 93 WA “Soaring” Syrah Siciliano
  • From Noto: a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Small Production, High-Quality
  • BHW has the Lowest Price Anywhere!
  • Free Shipping on 6 or More Bottles

About the Wine

In the beautiful, Unesco heritage-protected region of Noto, Sicily, lies Zisola, the latest endeavor from the Mazzei family. Here among the olive groves and citrus trees, the limited-production facility is dedicated to producing complex, elegant, and age-worthy wines from Sicily’s indigenous grape, Nero d’Avola, and to expressing the power and uniqueness of international varieties when grown in this region of Sicily. This exceptional 124-acre estate was acquired by the Mazzei’s, famed Tuscan winemaking family, in 2002 to showcase the potential of the area. Noto, celebrated for its Baroque architecture, is an alluring spot rich in history and culture, with incredible winemaking potential.

Noto (Siracusa) is one of the most beautiful areas of Sicily. The property is planted to vines as well as olive, citrus, and almond trees, typical of this southern landscape. A small but efficient cellar is equipped with temperature-controlled stainless steel vats for fermentation, along with 200 French barriques for aging. Vineyards cover approximately 42 acres of the estate, covering mainly calcareous soils and planted chiefly to Nero d’Avola. Vines are trained in the traditional alberello (free standing) style. Small amounts of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot are also cultivated. The vines enjoy a west/southwest exposure and benefit from a steady sea breeze, which cools the vineyards during the hot summer days and warms the land in the winter.

Aging: 16 months in small French oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: 100% Syrah. 

Full and elegant, notes of black cherry, leaves, forest underbrush, tannic and rich aftertaste. Perfect match for game stews, Porcini mushrooms, and hard cheeses like Ragusano.


Here's a new wine from Tuscany's Mazzei family that owns Zisola in Sicily. It appears as though the Syrah was removed from the Doppiozeta and used to make this new wine instead. The 2016 Achilles is a dark, savory, and layered red wine. Although the Doppiozeta seems to have suffered from the removal of its Syrah component, this wine is absolutely soaring. This Syrah deserves to fly solo, no doubt. It should be set free. The fruit is fleshed out and intense with background notes of chocolate, spice, and smoked bacon. The wine's intensity is beautiful and generous. Some 8,000 bottles were made. ~93+ Robert Parker

Shows complexity and intensity with blackberries, blueberries, and tar in the nose. Medium body, fine tannins, and a flavorful finish. Shows focus and finesse. Pure syrah. Drink now. ~92 James Suckling

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