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

Two Tastings, One Low Price - Free
August 2, 2017

Wines in the front room, wines in the back room... twice the pleasure!

In Our Back Room



Aging at Mas Amiel  

Aging at Mas Amiel         

It's always a good day when the irrepressibly raffish Chris Bonjour makes an appearance. This time he'll bring with him samples of six outstanding French wines.


The Revue du Vin de France ranksAlphonse Mellot as thebest winery in Sancerre, with a quality equal to that of Dagueneau in Pouilly Fume. Mellot has something that Dagueneau does not, a range of more affordable wines from his Moussiere vineyard. We'll taste a white and a rose, both from the excellent 2016 Loire vintage. We'll try the Moussiere white, and also the Pinot Noir-based Rose.


We have already written about the 2014 Decelle-Villa Meursault. It is a finely balanced rich Meursault that shows a nice equilibrium between oak and fruit in the fine 2014 vintage.


Ch. Jean Faure is located in a sweet spot in St. Emilion, close to la Dominique and Cheval Blanc (with which it is often compared) and not far from Petrus. Since his purchase in 2004, owner Olivier Decelle has been restoring it to its previous greatness. The 2009, half Cabernet franc and half Merlot was one of the vintages that led to the Chateau's promotion to Grand Cru Classe. It's perfectly ready to drink and has gotten much praise from critics on both sides of the Atlantic.


Mas Amiel has a 200 year history in Maury, the center for fortified wines in the highlands of southern France's Roussillon. We will taste two of their wines,. The white Altair is an ageworthy  white from Grenache Gris and Macabeu grapes. The 2010 Maury Reserve is a traditional vin doux natural made from Grenache Noira lightly fortified wine that is great either before or after dinner.


Bonjour, Bonjour




2016 Alphonse Mellot Sancerre La Moussiere; Aroma: heady rather dense mineral,  clean acidity ; Mouth: fleshy  full, fat ripe fruit ripe lemon grapefruit, rich, a melon note, good drive; Very Good - Excellent 32; Mixed Case, 28.8; Case, 27.2


2014 Decelle-Villa Meursault Nose, pears and baking spice, nice underlying wood. Mouth Pear again with strong wood notes, Creamy texture, a nice combination of richness and verve, balanced and complete Very Good - Excellent  $55; Mixed Case, 49.5; Case, 46.75


2012 Mas Amiel Altair Blanc Bettane & Desseauve "A remarkable success which reflects the spice and  honey notes of the Maccabeu grape but with power, foundation and length. This is exactly the sort of wine that makes us optimistic about the appellation."

$32; Mixed Case, 28.8; Case, 27.2



2016 Alphonse Mellot Sancerre Moussiere Rose; Color: very pale orange pink; Aroma: light fresh clean , very pretty fine,  finely elegant rather rich; Mouth: subdued ripe notes, rather full,  pretty & fine,  satisfying  ripe dark fruit focussed structure; Very Good Plus 27.99; Mixed Case, 25.19; Case, 23.79



2009 Ch. Jean Faure Bettane "Black fruit embellished with floral touches, elegant and fresh in the mouth,very much in the Cheval Blanc style."


Robert Parker "Roasted herbs that remind me of Provence intermixed with sweet kirsch, damp earth, spice box and a hint of background oak jump from the glass of this dense, plum/ruby/purple-colored wine. Ripe, low in acidity, nicely textured and round, this is another wine to drink over the next decade."


$59; Mixed Case, 53.10; Case, 50.15


2010 Mas Amiel  " Cassis, forest floor and tobacco evoke an almost Bordeaux-Cabernet nose. The mouth also invokes cigar, very smoky a little drawing founded in beautiful equilibrium of oriental spices. This is excellent Maury."


$39; Mixed Case, 35.10; Case, 33.15


Meursault arrives on Friday; Jean Faure and Mas Amiel wines arrive in two weeks.

In Our Front Room

Italy Negro Lorenzo Tasting


Peter writes,


We are happy to welcome Daniele Ferrero from the Negro Lorenzo winery in Roero, Piedmont. The winery makes excellent white and sparkling wine with Arneis grapes. For red they grow Barbera, Dolcetto, Bonarda and Nebbiolo. Daniele who is, among other things, the export director will lead us through a tasting of six wines.


We will begin with the 2015 Negro Lorenzo Roero Arneis. Arneis is a grape variety that has enjoyed a remarkable comeback in the past 50 years or so. Roero is a steep hilly area across the river from Barolo and has become ground central for fine white wines made with Arneis. These tend to have similar weight and texture with Viognier and flavor profiles akin to Pinot Bianco.

When Lorenzo split off from his family to form his own small estate, one of his ideas was that you could make really good sparkling wine with Arneis. The result is the 2011 Negro Liorenzo Arneis Spumante that is clean, dry, complex and flavorful.


We will begin the reds with the 2015 Negro Lorenzo Langhe Dolcetto. Dolcetto is a grape that can give you from light, easy reds to complex structured wines. This one is in the middle and has tremendous appeal for lighter meals and pizza. The 2009 Negro Lorenzo Barbera d’Alba Superiore La Nanda is richer and more complex showing rich plum fruit and good acidity.


Lorenzo also owns a small plot of Bonarda Piemontese which he decided would make an interesting blend with Nebbiolo. The 2009 Negro Lorenzo Bonarda/NebbioloRiserva l’Arbesca has, in addition to the classic Nebbiolo aromas and flavors shows some hints of almond, black pepper and white flowers. Last, we will taste the 2009 Negro Lorenzo Roero Nebbiolo Riserva San Francesco, made from Lorenzo’s finest Nebbiolo vines. It is a tremendous value with real complexity and balance.



2015 Negro Lorenzo Roero Arneis:  Deep straw, gold highlights. Aromas and flavors of ripe pear, apple, apricot and almond with a jazz note of citrus.  Very Good Plus  21; Mixed Case, 18.9; Case, 17.85



2011 Negro Lorenzo Roero Arneis Spumante:  Bright straw. Pear and lime dominate with crisp balancing acidity and dried flowers. Persistent small bubbles and clean finish.  Very Good Plus Plus  32/bottle


2015 Negro Lorenzo Langhe Dolcetto: Deep ruby, purple highlights. Juicy and earthy aromas and flavors with a touch of very pleasant bitterness in the finish with moderate tannin.  Very Good Plus  21; Mixed Case, 18.9; Case, 17.85


2009 Negro Lorenzo Barbera d’Alba Superiore La Nanda:  Deep ruby. Rich plum fruit, moderate spice and bright acidity. Full body with layered texture and balanced finish. Very Very Good Plus  26.99; Mixed Case, 24.29; Case, 22.94


2009 Negro Lorenzo Bonarda/Nebbiolo Riserva l’Arbesca: Bright ruby. Violets, cherries and spice with an overlay of white flowers, black pepper and sweet almond. Medium to full body and long finish.  Very Good Plus Plus   26.99; Mixed Case, 24.29; Case, 22.94


2009 Negro Lorenzo Roero Nebbiolo  Riserva San Lorenzo: Bright ruby. Classic aromas of roses, dark cherry and spice with a pleasant deep silky tannin structure. Very long balanced finish. Ready now and will continue to age well.  Very Good to Excellent 

29.99; Mixed Case, 26.99; Case, 25.49


All wines from both tastings will assort for 15% off on 12 bottles or more, 10% off on 6 to 11 bottles.


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


           - Len Rothenberg


(c) Federal Wine and Spirits Inc. 2017