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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Ponte Family Estate Sangiovese 2010 ***

Temecula, California, U.S.A.

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Price: $31
Grapes: Sangiovese
Alcohol: 13.8%

From the Bottle:  “Sangiovese is the classic grape of the Chianti region in Tuscany, Italy.  The Ponte Sangiovese is rich in flavors of black plum and raspberry.  This vintage will age gracefully but is delicious now, especially when paired with veal parmesan, stuffed manicotti or pizza.”

A says:
Rating: ***
Color   Deep ruby red
Smell   Raspberries.
Taste   This is a very sweet, fruity wine.  I taste the plum, as well as ripe cherries.  It has a slightly acid finish.  I like it, and anyone who enjoys fruity wines would probably adore it.  I’m giving it 3 stars because the price tag on this bottle is fairly high.  I certainly wouldn’t turn down another glass, but I’m not likely to buy another bottle at that price point.

D says: 
Rating: ***
Smell  Fruity.  Very Fruity.
Taste   This is a solid 3 in my book.  It’s sweet and the plum flavor is dominant.  There are slight bitter undertones that balance the sweetness nicely.  It is a bit pricey, though.

Verdict:  Good, fruity wine, but expensive.

This was a lovely Christmas gift from A’s aunt and uncle (shout out to R & V).  We thoroughly enjoyed the bottle, and since we didn’t buy it, we didn’t have to feel guilty about splurging on a bottle that we would otherwise have deemed too pricey for our cheap selves.  After we polished off the last sip, we looked up the price for the blog  and did a bit of a double take.   We never cease to be amazed at the price of California wines.  California produces some great wine, but for the cost, it’s hard to justify buying it most of the time.  We will, however, always accept nice bottles as gifts… and blog about them later.

Have you tried it? Rate it!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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