Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read what our customers thought

This Week's Tasting

Great Grill Wines
June 13, 2018

Tonight, two whites and four reds we have selected to go with your grilled food. Some, but not all, are big and bold. A few others will go well in subtler sneakier ways.

Meat and Fish on Grill


Peter writes,


I have loved this wine since I first tasted it 16 years ago. Librandi is a special winery that is now entering the fifth generation of the family that has brought the unique and authentic wines of Calabria to the world. One, the 2016 Librandi Efeso made 100% with the rare Mantonico grape, an historic variety thought to be originally from Greece. It's very particular about the areas it will grow well so now it is only found in Calabria and production is very limited. Late ripening, it produces wines of excellent phenolic maturity.

        Calabrian cuisine is spicy, so we can say that while this is a great white wine to go with spicy food, it is perfect with many others too, paella for example. I can also say that this is the only white wine I have found that has saffron in its aromatic profile. The wine is medium-bodied, complex and ridiculously satisfying. It also ages well.


2014 Goisot Bourgogne Coteaux Auxerrois Gueules de Loup

Some areas around Chablis have the same limestone and chalk soils that make Chablis unique. One of the best growers in the Chablis region is headquartered there. Stephan Goisot gets rave reviews for his St. Bris Sauvignon and Coteaux Auxerrois Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. His Coteaux Auxerrois Gueules de Loup from the excellent 2014 vintage is a ringer for rather broad, traditionally styled Chablis, as good on the palate as some recent 1er Crus we have tasted. Broad, very minerally, with just the right amount of acidity, it will be a fine wine to drink over the next year or two.

Alan Meadows recommended this wine when he tasted it a year and a half ago: "A more subtle application of oak easily allows the cool and ultra- pure aromas of lemon rind, mineral reduction, essence of pear, and wisps of white flowers to shine. The rich but focused medium weight flavors possess a lovely sense of energy as well as a relatively sophisticated mouth feel, all wrapped in a more complex and youthfully austere finale. This boxes well above its weight and is highly recommended."



I have selected two of my consistently favorite reds, particularly for barbecue. The 2016 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso which is from grapes grown on the slopes of the active volcano Mount Etna. You could say that the whole place is a BBQ. This is a medium bodied red with some power that goes with everything.

The 2010 Valle Reale Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Vigneto di Popoli is from a single vineyard way up in the mountains of Abruzzo. The soil is rocky and the growing season is long. This is fuller body and is developing the tertiary complexity of age.


Reyneke is a small estate in South Africa's Stellenbosch that is scrupulous in making their wines organically and bio-dynamically. They don't have many visitors, so when I visited them last year their tasting bottles had been open a few days. This made their 2015 Syrah all the more impressive. It is precise, more of a European, northern Rhône style, than New World. We have just a few cases of what is available at retail. The rest has been scooped up by one of Boston's trendier steakhouse chains.

Isabelle Sabon of Domaine Janasse has acquired the Clos St. Antonin estate. Her 2015 Plan de Dieu Cotes du Rhone Villages is also a Federal exclusive. When we offered it last winter, it became an instant hit and sold out. We just brought in some more of this rich and structured wine. It has lots of intensity and built to last.

 Revue du Vin de France "The nose is a waltz of fruit & spice. One is smitten by its olfactory elegance. The mouth is a fine grained caress and a pretty interpretation of terroir."

Jeb Dunnock "currants, blackberries, scorched earth, and roasted garrigue - it's medium full bodied elegant, seamless red that has loads to love."

Wine Advocate "made of stern stuff. A blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 25% Mourvèdre, it boasts firm, chewy tannins to go along with scents of cola, spice and blueberries... Drink it with hearty foods over the next few years."

Barbecue Wines


2016 Librandi Efeso: Bright straw. A wine of great personality with ripe pear, almond, mineral and saffron aromas and flavors. Excellent $25.99/bottle 23.39/mixed case 22.09/case

2014 Goisot Coteaux Auxerrois Gueules de Loup; Aroma: Clean and rich, rather full, very concentrated; Mouth: bright acid broad, creamy full with low toned minerality, very fine definition, a sense of mature nuttiness; Very Good - Excellent 29.99; Mixed Case, 26.99; Case, 25.49


2016 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso: Ruby red. Ripe cherry fruit and red currant with sweet spices and dried herbs. Fresh, finely balanced finish with good acidity. Will age very well.  Very Good to Excellent. 21/bottle 18.90/mixed case 17.85/case

2010 Valle Reale Montepuliano d’Abruzzo Vigneto di Popoli: Bright ruby. Concentrated layers of dark berry fruit, licorice and spices. Rich and aromatic with balsam and silky tannins. Very Good to Excellent 18.99/bottle 17.09/mixed case 16.14/case

2015 Reyneke SyrahOrganic, biodynamic Color: purple black; Aroma: bright plummy fruit, delineated, lighter, fine acid; Mouth: smooth lightly herbal, clean nutty, smooth restrained & understated, good length fine tannins on the finish, long & poised; Very Good - Excellent 22.99; Mixed Case, 20.69; Case, 19.54

2015 Clos St. Antonin Plan de Dieu Cotes du Rhone Villages; Color: light red black; Aroma: lightly heady, earthy, firm, pretty deep black cherry, lightly earth spice; Mouth: thickish, juicy, bright herbal acid, clean, fresh tight, youthful herbaceous, long & sweet; Very Good Plus 24.99; Mixed Case, 22.49; Case, 21.24


6-13 BBQ Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $246

6-13 BBQ Pack: One each of the above wines - $130 - may incur delivery charge

Or you can mix

 Any six - 11 bottles of the above for a 10% discount

Any twelve bottles of the above for a 15% discount


Order by phone at 617.367.8605, or reserve here: order@federalwine.com


Please pass this on to any friends who are wine enthusiasts!


           - Len Rothenberg