The Zisola estate is the Mazzei family’s most recent investment and is located in south-eastern Sicily, the home of Nero d’Avola, about 1 km outside the magnificent town of Noto which is celebrated for its Baroque architecture. There are two “baglio” buildings on the site which form the centre of around 50 hectares of bush-trained vines interspersed with olives, citrus trees and almonds. The estate is certified organic.
The vineyards are located at 130 metres above sea level with a south eastern exposure. The vines are free standing ‘alberello’ bush vines, planted at a density of 5,550 vines per hectare and the soil is calcareous. The Petit Verdot vines were planted in 2005 and count for only one hectare. The soils composition is sit and clay with a high percentage limestone.
The small but efficient cellar is equipped with temperature controlled stainless steel vats. After harvest, the grapes are gently pressed. Maceration lasts for approximately 14-16 days. Fermentation then takes place at 28-30°C. The wine is then aged for 16 months in 225 litre barriques (50 % new). The wine was aged for a further 6 months in bottle before release.
This vintage was characterised by a strong drought: in fact, after the rain at the end of October 2015 and until spring, the rainfall was just 49 mm, with winter temperatures above 6° C and a following active growth occurring at least ten days earlier than the average. This anticipation has been observed until the second week of August when, with great concern, heavy showers adjusted the proper trend of the vintage and hydrated the plants. It is surely worth mentioning the two heat waves that hit Sicily: the first was recorded between June and July and the second at the beginning of August, reaching 42° C.
Generally, the cycle of vegetation were initially subjected to warm temperatures during the day and cold ones at night, which started the blossoming and the flowering ten days earlier than the previous vintage (which started in the second half of May), followed by a good fruit setting; the veraison, too, was anticipated with respect to the seasonal average.
This climatic and weather trend granted the good health both of the vines and the bunches, which were characterised by a strong peel just before the harvest. The result was very satisfying and represented a step forward compared to the previous vintages with wines rich in colorants and strong acidity.
Beginning of the harvest: 31/08
End of the harvest: 27/09
Rainfalls (sum of rainfall between April 1st and September 30th): 225 mm
“Effe Emme” is the spelling of “FM” in Italian: this wine displays Filippo Mazzei’s initials. Deep purple in colour with notes of ripe plum fruit, savoury and peaty notes. An elegant wine of great complexity and persistence.
Pairs well with hearty casseroles and meaty pasta sauces. Also excellent with roasted meat, game and mature cheese.
Wine advocate: 94 POINTS
James Suckling: 93 POINTS
Vinous: 92 POINTS
100% Petit Verdot