Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

Cabernet and Friends

A small group last week favored the four wines that best balanced robust fruit with complexity of flavor.
February 20, 2019


In no particular order:

The 2015 Nieto Senetiner Blend Collection, a Malbec based blend from Argentina, was was on the lighter side, but very appealing to several people. The other blend, the 2010 Morgenster Lourens River Valley Red, a Cabernet franc and Merlot based South African equivalent to a St. Emilion, had a bit more depth and intensity and was slightly more favored of the two.

Two Cabernets caught tasters imaginations. The 2016 Hess Cabernet Sauvignon Allomi Napa was a revelation to those who were used to the brand they had seen in chains store. Approachable, it out performed its price in nuance and had a very pretty and complex turn of phrase in its grape expression. The 2011 Ehret Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley was a bit more sedate, evoking mature and rounded Bordeaux in a riper vintage. There were no hard edges in either wine, but both had supple fruit and gentle supporting tannins.

Age had made the 2002 Couly Dutheil Chinon much more soft and mellow than the others in the tasting. While excellent in its  expression of the Cabernet Franc grape, it was overshadowed by the other more powerful wines. The 2016 Intrinsic Cabernet Sauvignon was the opposite; powerful , intense, and in your face; too much so for many of the tasters.




2015 Nieto Senetiner Blend  Collection ; Color: medium dark; Aroma: heady earth, rather softly woody, earthy, nutty  Mouth: clean rather forward, fleshy, juicy, bright fruit, herbal nuttiness  Very Good Plus 15.99; Mixed Case, 14.39; Case, 13.59

2002  Couly-Dutheuil Chinon Baronnie Madelaine ; Aroma: light, sweet oak, rather clean,  herbal firm, pretty nutty ; Mouth: rather soft rich, smooth, thick textured, nice acid underpinning, very herbal, fine acid at the end;  Very Good Plus 28.99; Mixed Case, 26.09; Case, 24.64

2010  Morgenster Lourens  River Valley Red ; Color: medium dark rather dense; Aroma: heady sweet clean , rather herbal , lightly pretty, heady fine acidity, rather firm Mouth: clean spicy acid, pretty, fine and bright, medium bodied,long;  Very Good - Excellent 19.99; Mixed Case, 17.99; Case, 16.99

2011 Ehret Cabernet SauvignonKnights Valley ; Color: medium dark brown; Aroma: sweet smooth rather dense, fleshy, lightly herbal, pretty; Mouth: clean ripe fine acid mature, beveled tannins, fine on the finish, long;  Very Good - Excellent 32; Mixed Case, 28.8; Case, 27.2


Youthful Vigor


2016 Intrinsic Cabernet Sauvignon ; Aroma: heady rather dense, full blackberry cedar notes; Mouth: sweet forward clean, smooth textured, ripe acid, forward, juicy medium bodied; young & vibrant; Very Good Plus 21; Mixed Case, 18.9; Case, 17.85

2016 Hess  Cabernet Sauvignon Allomi Napa ; Aroma: ripe heady earthy, reserved, stony note; Mouth: chocolate note over bright fruit & acid, clean racy fine, herbal notes sweet full long;  Very Good Plus 34; Mixed Case, 30.6; Case, 28.9


2-20 Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $259

In-store only 2-20 Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $137


mix any 6- 111 wines for 10% off

any 12 or more for 15% off


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