Feronda Reserva 2008 3.5 Stars

Rioja, Spain

Price: $18.99
Grapes: Tempranillo
Alcohol: 13.5%

From the Bottle:  Nada!

A says:
Rating: ***
Color   Dark red
Smell   Oak, ripe fruit, and something that reminds me of rain.
Taste   I have to admit, I liked the smell better than the taste (D said the opposite, as you’ll see).  I thought it was a bit acidic, which combined undesirably with a hint of coffee flavor.  That said, it was an enjoyable bottle – definitely above average.  But it left me slightly dissatisfied, and given the price tag, I’m calling it a three.  I’m okay with how much we paid for it, but I don’t think I would buy it again.

D says: 
Rating: ****
Smell   It smells a little like bleach.
Taste   Okay, so maybe that wasn’t the most inviting smell.  Or maybe I was sniffing the wrong thing before I got around to taking a whiff of this.  At any rate, it’s actually pretty tasty.  It has nice fruity flavors combined with some bitterness.  I like it, but it’s a little too expensive for what it is.  I’m giving it four stars.

Verdict:  This was some fancy wine.  Rioja is supposed to produce some of Spain’s finest wines, and Feronda has the special awesomeness label (Denominacion de Origen Califcada). It tasted good, and we’d be happy to see it sometime at a party, even if we probably wouldn’t buy it again ourselves.  This is the best tasting Spanish wine we have tried so far, but it is also by far the most expensive.  This balanced out to earn it just a slightly higher rating than the other Spanish wines we’ve tried.

Have you tried it? Rate it!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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Mario Ercolino Saserello 2010

Sicilia, Italy

Mario Ercolino Saserello

Price: $13.99
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvingnon (25%), Merlot (25%), Sangiovese (25%), Syrah (25%)
Alcohol: 13.5%

From the Bottle:  ”After many years making wines in Southern Italy, I wanted to craft a “Super Sicilian.”  My selection comprises grapes from four unique terroirs, all equal proportions but different varietals, grown on two small estates.  The Cabernet and Merlot come from one of hte most premium vineyard sites in western Sicily where the deep mineral-rich soils impart complexity, whilst the Syrah and Sangiovese are grown in nearby coastal vineyards, where the grapes attain ‘new world’ ripeness.  After careful blending I was very happy with the result: Saserello is brimming with damson and black cherry characters, with hints of black pepper, savoury, toasty vanilla notes and elegant tannins, followed by a long, ripe finish.  It partners well with richly-flavoured dishes such as steak with a black peppercorn sauce, slow-cooked venison with juniper and full-flavoured cheeses.  - Mario Ercolino”

A says:
Rating: ****
Color   Cherry red
Smell   Spicy
Taste   I taste bitter, chocolate flavors with a tart finish.  It has a spiciness to it that is very pleasant.  Saserello is both tasty and reasonably priced.  I’m giving it a four – I’d really like another glass, but I’m not going to trample my friends to get the last drop.

D says: 
Rating: *****
Smell   Sweet, caramelized sugar
Taste   Saserello is super dry. It’s a little chocolaty and a little earthy.  The finish reminds me of Swiss cheese (or at least the aftertaste of Swiss cheese).  That may not sound very appealing, but it is!  It has been a while since I’ve given a five, but this wine earned it.

Guest taster X says: 
Rating: ****
Smell   The creme filling in Cadbury eggs
Taste   It’s a casual wine. It has wood and earthy flavors.  Smooth.  I’d say four stars.

Verdict:  First off, we had our first guest rater for this wine!  X doubted her mad tasting skillz, but anybody who can liken the scent of wine to Cadbury eggs definitely fits in with this crowd.

We’d like to say that X came over and enjoyed this bottle over the recommended “slow-cooked venison with juniper,” but actually we just ordered pizza and popped open a bottle at random.  Yeah, we actually have venison with juniper ALL the time, so if we had been paying close attention to the label we would have paired this one properly… because you know that venison and juniper are super common things at the dinner table.  Okay, enough mocking Mario Ercolino for his ridiculously specific (not to mention uncommon) food suggestion.   This wine was good with pizza too.

We all thoroughly enjoyed it, and D enjoyed it so much that he was still talking about it the next day.  Excellent wine at good price, what more can you ask for?

Have you tried it? Rate it!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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