Sicilian star

Sicilian reds are one of the wine world’s most affordable full bodied wines right now. Made mostly from the indigenous Sicilian red grape, Nero d’Avola (also known as Calabrese), they range from $10 (NZ) to $40-ish. Not that there are many at the top end available in New Zealand and even the lower end of the market is pretty sparse in this country. So, it’s encouraging to see this big bold taste sensation now available here, thanks to Mineral wine distributors…

2014 Zisola Noto Rosso Mazzei, $26 to $30 14.5% ABV

This wine is made from the Nero d’Avola grape – indigenous to Sicily and the island’s most popular and widely planted red grape. It’s a 100% Nero, which makes this wine all the better for it (rather than blends, which can dilute the outstanding bold, distinctive blueberry like flavours of the Nero grape). In this case, the wine was aged for 10 months in 225 litre oak barriques – a modern move for Sicilia – and the result is a full bodied red, dry, velvety red with flavours of blueberries, black cherries and savoury, earth notes of coffee and chocolate. Every sip lingers.

Available from specialist stores or contact Sophie Rhodes at Mineral, email: or

Author: Joelle Thomson

I am a wine writer, author and educator... first bitten by a big buttery Chardonnay on a dark and stormy night in the 1980s and there was no turning back... Follow my tastings and join some too on this new site.

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