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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Collezione di Paolo Chianti 2011 4.5 Stars

Chianti, Italy

Price: $15.99
Grapes: Sangiovese
Alcohol: 13%

From the Bottle: These guys are not very wordy… the bottle simply says: “Dal 1930 tre generazione della nostra Famiglia Hanno sempre prodotto vini di qualita.” (Since 1930, three generations of our family have always produced quality wines.)

A says:                                                                                    
Rating: *****
Color  Deep maroon purple
Smell  Strong, spicy, and lovely.  This stuff smells so good I drooled.
Taste  Who needs a wordy label when the wine speaks for itself? This wine is good like a good steak – you want to pause over each sip and let it roll around in the mouth. There’s a bitterness to this wine, like cocoa, that lingers for a sustained finish.  I love this stuff…I would buy it again. And again. Give me red meat and a glass of this chianti, and I’ll think I’m in heaven.  My first five star post!

D says:                                                                                    
Rating:  ****
Smell  Rich and savory, with a hint of sweet, almost like chocolate.
Taste  This wine is really smooth, a little bitter and little earthy. You don’t really taste the alcohol much. It has a super savory finish, like a good red sauce. In my opinion, this is a perfect match for Italian food. I like it.

Verdict: Let’s be honest, we tend to buy cheap wine. This wine is a little pricier than our usual bottle (although not really pricey by any means). We’ve had plenty of wines we didn’t think were worth $10, but we both agreed that this one is worth $16. A may have found a new obsession; we’ll be stocking the cellar with more of this.

Have you tried it? Rate it!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
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