Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

Italy: North Meets South

Peter writes, "Most tasters last week said they loved all the wines. It turns out though that there were stylistic differences between the Sicilian wines and the ones from Piedmont."
July 11, 2018

He continues,

             A handful of people clearly preferred the Sicilians and another few preferred the Piedmont.

            We started with the 2017 Tasca d’Almerita Mozia Grillo Whitaker. Since the first time we were able to offer this wine it has been greatly appreciated by our customers. The story of the island of Mozia and the history of Giuseppe Whitaker and his Grillo vineyard from the 1800s help generate interest. It is the wine itself that turns heads with its rich fruit and dashing salinity. Perfect seafood wine. The Piedmont white was the 2015 Manzone Rossese Bianco Rosserto. Manzone is a great Barolo producer that has maintained this white grape vineyard for generations. At the moment this is the only commercially available wine of this type. This white is richer and shows complexity and is dazzling with dishes like roast chicken.

            We were going to show a 2015 Sottimano Barbera d’Alba Pairolerobut could not find the wine. We substituted the 2014 Pelissero Barbera d’Alba Piani. Both producers are in the same region and both are compelling Barberas. Both are now available. We followed with the Sicilian 2016 Tornatore Etna Rosso. 2016 was a great vintage in Sicily and this wine is still a bit young. It shows a powerful flavor and structure and complexity of fruit and spice.

            The 2015 Pelissero Langhe Nebbiolo showed complexity and elegance. More than one taster commented that it was still very young. It would certainly benefit from a few more years of age. For now we recommend decanting. As expected the last wine was the one that turned the most heads. The unique 2015 Caravaglio Nero di Munti was the favorite of the tasting with itsamazing kaleidoscope of aromas, flavors and textures. This may be the ne plus ultra of volcanic wines.

            This was a lot of fun. Pascal S said that all of these wines were very different from each other but he could tell they were all Italian. It is a mystery.



2017 Tasca d’Almerita Mozia Grillo Whitaker:  Straw with green highlights. Pear and honeydew with notes of lemongrass, anise, and white pepper all framed in a bright balanced salinity. Very Good toExcellent   24.00/bottle 21.60/mixed case 20.40/case

2015 Manzone Rossese Bianco Rosserto: Straw yellow. Deep melon and peach flavors highlighted by orange peel, cedar, broom flowers and a fresh balsamic note. Persistent finish.  Very Good toExcellent   29/bottle 26.10/mixed case 24.65/case



2015 Sottimano Barbera d’Alba Pairolero:  Deep red, Plum and raspberry fruit. Notes of flint and spice and balanced acidity, deeply flavored long finish.   Very Good to Excellent    24/bottle  21.60/mixed case 20.40/case

2016 Tornatore Etna Rosso:  Light bright ruby. Cherries, asian spice and tobacco with deep flavor and structure. Complex and balanced.  Very Good to Excellent   27/bottle 24.30/mixed case 22.95/case

2015 Pelissero Langhe Nebbiolo:  Bright ruby. Floral and spicy with dark cherries and licorice. Fresh flavors and a persistent balanced finish.  Very Good to Excellent    23/bottle 20.70/mixed case 19.55/case

2015 Caravaglio Nero di Munti:  Deep ruby red. Explosive aromas of dark berries, roses and smoke. Aromas and flavors dance around like a Munchausen adventure and come together in the long finish.  Excellent  28/bottle 25.20/mixed case 23.80/case


In store only- North meets South pack: One bottle of each of the above for a special price of $139.50

North meets South case: Two bottles of each of the above for a special price of $263.50

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: peter@federalwine.com


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


           - Peter Hemenway