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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Groote Kaap Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ***

Western Cape, South Africa

GrootKaap

Price: $12.99
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.5%

From the Bottle:  Nothing fun to report from the label.  Thanks to Google, however, we can share this insight: Groote Kaap means “great cape” in Dutch.

A says:
Rating: ***
Color   Deep violet
Smell   Wood, spice, and alcohol
Taste   This wine has an earthy flavor, somewhat acid and fairly bitter; I guess you could call it rich.  The finish is bitter chocolate.  I like the finish, but I’m less sure about the wine.  It’s a cheap one, but in my book, it’s still only a 3 star wine.

D says: 
Rating: ***
Smell   Sweet
Taste   This wine sweeter than your average Cab.  I taste plum, followed by bitterness, and a lingering sweetness at the end.  I would consider this a decent table wine, but nothing to write home about.  The price is good, the wine is fine, I too say 3 stars.

Verdict: We started the bottle over dinner, and polished it off while kicking up our feet and watching TV – an appropriately relaxed atmosphere for a pretty relaxed bottle of wine.  Groote Kaap Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t a wine that’s going to knock any socks off, but we doubt you’ll spit it out, either.  It’s a completely acceptable, reasonable, $12.99 bottle of wine.  We wouldn’t tell anyone to run out and buy a bottle, but in a pinch, it’s a safe bet.  We’d recommend drinking it over dinner, preferably something meaty.

Have you tried it? Rate it!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)
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