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

Spicy Mediterranean Reds - Wines to Go With Cuisine That is Actually Good For You
April 11, 2018

The so-called Mediterranean diet is just not complete without a good Mediterranean wine to go with it. For tonight's tasting we have chosen wines from Greece to Portugal. We find all of these to have a nice spicy kick that accents a wide variety of foods from the “sea in the middle of the land”.

Alpha Estate  

“Alpha Estate”

We will begin with the 2013 Librandi Duca San Felice Ciro Rosso Riservafrom Calabria. This is 100% Gaglioppo, a grape which is only grown in Calabria. This is a medium bodied wine with dark fruit character and well integrated tannin. It, among other things, goes well with spicy food so if you want, throw in some spicy red peppers into whatever you are serving. Librandi is the most famous estate in Calabria and has done more than anyone to bring the region back from obscurity. Next we will go to Sardinia and try a Carignano.  The 2014 Sardus Pater Is Arenas Carignano del Sulcis Riserva is made on the small island of Sant Antico by the Sardus Pater winery. The winery is named after the mythological character Sardus (son of Hercules) who saved Sardinia from giants. The wine has a sweet spiciness and velvety tannins.

There are many really good still wines coming out of Portugal these days. The 2014 Quinta de Ventozelo Douro Reserva is one we really like. This is a blend of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouchet and Sousao and is a selection of the best grapes in the top vineyards. The Quinta was established in 1569 by Cisercian monks. It’s a little more modern now. The wine is very interesting and complex and all the components contribute their own flash of spice. Since we’re close we might as well go to Spain next and check out Priorat. The 2014 Bodegas Juan Gil Orowines Bluegray Priorat is a spicy blend of Garnacha, Carinena andCabernet Sauvignon. The spice notes float up from the Carinena. Although Juan Gil is based in Jumilla, over the years they have expanded their holdings and this Priorat is one of the newest. It is richly textured and full bodied.

To finish up we get really interesting with a Xinomavro wine from Macedonia in Greece. The 2014 Alpha Estate Xinomavro Hedgehog Vineyard will let you see why this grape is called the Nebbiolo of Greece. The wine is aromatically complex, spicy, floral and powerful. The estate was created by two of Greece’s most experienced winemakers, Makis Mavridis and Angelos Latridis. Since we’re making comparisons, next we will taste a Nebbiolo. The 2015 Giorgio Pelissero Langhe Nebbiolo has just arrived and I think we can safely say that this is a wine with some spice character. It also shows great richness of flavor and balanced tannins.


2013 Librandi Duca San Felice Ciro Rosso Riserva: Bright ruby. Cherries with notes of fig and tobacco. Substantial and well structured with a long spicy finish. Very Good Plus to Excellent 18.99/bottle 17.09/mixed case 16.14/case

2014 Sardus Pater Is Arenas Carignano del Sulcis Riserva: Ruby red. Spicy, with red berries, sage and rosemary. Notes of violet over fresh elegant tannins. Touch of salinity in the long finish   Very Good Plus to Excellent  28/bottle 25.20/mixed case 23.80/case

2014 Quinta de Ventozelo Douro Reserva: Dark red. Plum and red berries with a balsamic floral character. Vanilla, spice and white pepper with smooth tannin in the finish. Needs to breath. Very Good Plus to Excellent   21/bottle 18.90/mixed case 17.85/case

2014 Bodegas Juan Gil Orowines Bluegray Priorat: Dark red. Concentrated plum, licorice with notes of cardamom, dark chocolate and toasty oak.  Very Good Plus to Excellent 24/bottle 21.60/mixed case 20.40/case

2014 Alpha Estate Xinomavro Hedgehog Vineyard:  Purple ruby. Cherries, leather, pepper and clove. Full bodied and tannic with blackberry and quince in the long finish.  Very Good Plus to Excellent. 26/bottle 23.40/mixed case 22.10/case

2015 Pelissero Langhe Nebbiolo: Bright ruby. Cherries, roses, hazelnut and white pepper. Lightly smoky and balsamic and a balanced finish. Very Good Plus to Excellent 23.00/bottle 20.70/mixed case 19.55/case


Special six pack: One bottle of each of the above for a special price of $127

Special case: Two bottles of each of the above for a special price of $240


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


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


           - Peter Hemenway