Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

This Week's Tastings

TUESDAY: Four Top South African Winemakers + WEDNESDAY: The Drouhins In Oregon
May 8, 2018

When President Macron came to Washington for a state dinner last month, wine selected to accompany the Colorado lamb (and to subtly underline the long historic connection between France and the United States) was the 2014 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir Laurene. "French soul - Oregon soil," is the mantra of Drouhin family in Oregon's Willamette Valley.


Domaine Drouhin
with David Millman, Managing Director,


It is 30 years since the Drouhins, one of Burgundy's finest negociants, established vineyards there in Willamette.  Under the leadership of Veronique Drouhin they have succeeded wonderfully in this making wines with as much finesse and precision as those they make in Beaune. 

            Tonight we are happy to welcome the general manager of the wineries, David Millman,who will present  two whites and five reds from Domaine Drouhin Oregon and their RoseRock vineyard. From the basic to their finest reserve Laureneall are fine examples of the Drouhin style.

            The Domaine Drouhinwines come from an estate high up in the Dundee Hills that was specially selected to resemble the soils of Burgundy. The Roserock wines come from a newer vineyard on volcanic soil at the southern tip of the Eola Amity Hills.

            Don't miss the RoseRock ZepherinePinot Noir  and Chardonnay. In my tastings they are extraordinary.



2015 RoseRock Chardonnay, Eola-Amity Hills "- "Potent, mineral-laced aromas of orange pith, pear nectar, nectarine and white flowers, plus a subtle ginger flourish. Juicy and energetic on the palate, offering intense orchard and citrus fruit and honeysuckle flavors complemented by a refreshingly bitter quinine note. Finishes with very good clarity and minerally thrust, leaving floral and marmalade notes behind." 37; Mixed Case, 33.3; Case, 31.45


2016 Cloudline Pinot Noir, Willamette Vinous "Vivid red. High-pitched red berry and candied rose scents are complemented by suggestions of rhubarb, white pepper and underbrush. Shows good energy and lift to the subtly sweet raspberry and floral pastille flavors; a hint of bitter orange zest adds back-end cut. Closes taut, spicy and long, with fine-grained tannins adding shape and grip. There's real value here."21.99; Mixed Case, 19.79; Case, 18.69

2014 RoseRock Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills  Vinous- " Brilliant red. Ripe red and blue fruits, candied flowers, incense and a hint of licorice on the deeply perfumed nose. A spine of juicy acidity provides lift and structure to sweet raspberry and boysenberry flavors that open up slowly on the back half. Delivers a suave blend of power and finesse and finishes impressively long, showing resonating red fruit character and sneaky, harmonious tannins." 37; Mixed Case, 33.3; Case, 31.45

2014 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot NoirDundee Hills

Burghound  "A perfumed and very pretty nose combines notes of red currant, briar, violet and plum hints. There is good vibrancy and freshness to the utterly delicious middle weight flavors that possess an attractive mouth feel, all wrapped in a dusty, balanced and lingering finish where a hint of cherry pit emerges." 48; Mixed Case, 43.2; Case, 40.8

2014 RoseRock Pinot Noir,  Zephirine   Wine Advocate -"intense bay leaves, fresh cranberries and rhubarb notes on the nose with underlying garrigue, game and forest floor hints. Medium-bodied and sporting a solid frame of chewy tannins, it offers a great core of herb-laced earthy flavors and a long finish." 69; Mixed Case, 62.1; Case, 58.65

2014 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir,  LaureneVinous - "Vivid red. A sexy, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red berries, cola and rose oil, and a smoky flourish builds in the glass. Fleshy, expansive black raspberry, bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors show impressive depth as well as energy, picking up a hint of star anise with air. Finishes juicy, supple and very long, offering lingering spiciness and pliant, even tannins that fold effortlessly into the lush fruit.." 79; Mixed Case, 71.10; Case, 67.15


You can mix
 any six bottles of the above for a 10% discount
 any twelve bottles of the above for a 15% discount


TUESDAY, May 8th

South African wines have not received the attention they deserve for both their quality and value for the money. This week a snapshot of the range and styles of some of the country's best producers. I tasted and loved many of these in South Africa a year ago. Most are in newer vintage, but I have included my notes where the vintage I tasted is still current.

Raats Family estate is run by then inimitable Bruwer Raatsand his cousin Gavin Slabbertwho will present the wines. The Raats wines emulate the finer wines of the middle are in their finesse and delineation. Bruwer has been asked to judge Loire wines competition a number of times. The Original Cheninis gulpably delicious: the Old Vine Chenin Blanchas the elegance of the fine dry Vouvray. Likewise There is the forward Dolomite Cabernet Franc  and the fine and subtly powerful Estate Cabernet Francis one of our favorites.

            Bruwer and Gavin have branched out under the name B Vintnersto work with other grapes. Their Haarlem to Hopeis an intriguingly complex blend of Chenin Blanc, Semillon and Muscat  I thought their 2015Black Bream Pinot Noir from cooler climate Walker Bay was extraordinarily good. and look forward to the 2016.

            De Morgenzon  will be represented by its cellarmaster and CEO Carl van de Merwe. It is a modern vineyard on a 1699 farm. His farming is sustainable and his winemaking minimalist. The wines are extraordinarily pure and very clean and very reasonable prices, which is not to say that they cannot be very fine also. Some have placed among the top South Africans by the authoritative John Platter Guide.

            Glenelly is another newer winery on old farm May de Lencquesaing, then owner of Bordeaux's famous Ch. Pichon Lalande, purchased part of a Stellenbosch farm that dated to 1682, planted it to vines.. Her grandson Nicolas Bureaunow runs the estate and will taste is on the winery' excellent wines. TheLady May, a Cabernet-Syrah blend  

            Kanonkop is the big boy of the group. Its Pinotageis the reference point for South Africa's signature red grape. It is as big and bold as a Chateauneuf du Pape or Hermitage. My favorite though is their Paul Sauer Reserve, a deep and complex Bordeaux blend. We will also taste their Kadette, a well priced multi-variety blend that is their answer to Cotes du Rhone.


Raats Family

2017 Chenin Blanc Original        13.99; Mixed Case, 12.59; Case, 11.89

2017 Old Vine Chenin Blanc       26.99; Mixed Case, 24.29; Case, 22.94

2015 Dolomite Cabernet Franc21; Mixed Case, 18.9; Case, 17.85

2014 Cabernet Franc Aroma: Heady rather dense very  firm, rather closed; Mouth: clean very pretty and firm, sweet acid, bright, long long acid-delineated finish; Excellent37; Mixed Case, 33.3; Case, 31.45

B Vintners

2016 Haarlem to Hope  26.99; Mixed Case, 24.29; Case, 22.94

2016 Black Bream Pinot Noir     32; Mixed Case, 28.8; Case, 27.2

De Morgenzon

2017 DMZ Chardonnay15.99; Mixed Case, 14.39; Case, 13.59

2016 Reserve Chardonnay         43; Mixed Case, 38.7; Case, 36.55

2017 DMZ Rose              10.99; Mixed Case, 9.89; Case, 9.34

2015 DMZ Shiraz            15.99; Mixed Case, 14.39; Case, 13.59

Glenelly Estate

2011 Estate Red Reserve           23.99; Mixed Case, 21.59; Case, 20.39

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon          15.99; Mixed Case, 14.39; Case, 13.59

2017 Chardonnay Glass Collection    15.99; Mixed Case, 14.39; Case, 13.59

2011 Lady May                49; Mixed Case Special tasting only 39 Net


2015 Kadette; Aroma: lightly fresh, soft , subdued spice; Mouth: Sweet rather clean subdued with respect to prior vintages, full on the finish; Very Good15.99; Mixed Case, 14.39; Case, 13.59

2015 Pinotage; Color: very dark black, Aroma: heady rather dense, very deep,very rich still reserved; Mouth:Very reserved, very dense, very full,  heady very rich; Mouth: juicy rather forward, very clean, racy , dense tactile, rather fine nice finishing drive; Excellent43; Mixed Case, 38.7; Case, 36.55

2012 Paul Sauer A wine that loves to ageA 2013 at the winery was like a young Bordeaux, a 2004 was glorious.       $53; Mixed Case, 47.7; Case, 45.05


You can mix
 any six 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 and/or cider enthusiasts!


           - Len Rothenberg