Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

New Cabernets, Bordeaux vs Napa

Lots of people showed up in the 90 degree heat to taste heavy body reds. We held an informal poll as to which wines people preferred. Those who voted preferred Bordeaux over Californians by 62% to 38%.
May 17, 2017


But the level of wine left in the bottle is as or more revealing than what people say. By that measure there was a clear favorite, the 2014 Ch. Angludet. So many people asked for a second taste that we had to open additional bottles. Medium weight, it showed Margaux's more nuanced complexity.

Significant others favored Pauillac's Ch. Lalande Borie  for its bigger, more rounded fruit. One taster who has bought the château in several vintages pronounced it on of the best values in Bordeaux.

The 2014 Goldschmidt Cabernet Sauvignon and 2014 Punch Cabernet Sauvignon were virtually tied in tasters' estimation. Like me, some were fascinated by the distinctive complex nuttiness of its clone 6 of Cabernet. The Punch, which is mostly Napa despite its California, label is a bigger and richer wine that appealed to many others.

The all-Merlot Pomerol, 2014 Château Monregard La Croix and 2015 Daou Cabernet Sauvignon were both less complex and more fruit-forward than the others. That quality appealed to some, but not most of the tasters. 

A drinking note - We opened these wines an hour and a half before the tasting started . All showed their best four hours later. We recommend these wines very much, but if you want to drink them in the nearer future, it would be best to decant them  a couple of hours ahead. 



2014 Château Monregard La Croix (Pomerol); Aroma: Heady herbal, dense, Fresh, pretty, softly deep; Mouth: Clean dense, fine acid; Very Good Plus 36; Mixed Case, 32.4; Case, 30.6

2014 Château Angludet (Margaux); Aroma: Sharp, lightly herbal, reduced, spicy candied; Mouth: Clean firm, sweet, some reductive notes, long; Very Good - Excellent 40; Mixed Case, 36; Case, 34

2014 Château Lalande Borie (St. Julien); Aroma: Fresh herbal clean; Mouth: Light clean fine acidity, racy bright elegant tannins fine acid finish, tight; Very Good - Excellent 43; Mixed Case, 38.7; Case, 36.55

2015 Daou Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles) "should be another outstanding vintage of this cuvee and it has full-bodied richness, beautiful concentration and lots of dark chocolate, plum and smoked herb aromas and flavors. It has more obvious structure than the 2014 did at this stage as well."

2014 Punch Cabernet Sauvignon; Color: medium dark opaque; Aroma: heady smoky, deep graphite earth, pencil; Mouth: fine sweet acid rather thick, bright acid, clean, smooth  fine acid on the finish; Very Good Plus 39; Mixed Case, 35.1; Case, 33.15

2014 Goldschmidt Cabernet Sauvignon Charming Creek Hillary; Aroma: heady very dense, light anise note, plummy, earthy, cedary, Mouth: light lean bright, herbal soft, textured rather mineral, French oak; Very Good - Excellent 37; Mixed Case, 33.30; Case, 31.45

5-17 Cabernet Glories Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $382

5-17 Cabernet Glories Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $202


Other New Cabernet-based Arrivals

Classic Margaux from a 3rd growth chateau

2014 Château Marquis d’Alseme Becker (Margaux); Aroma: Fine rather elegant, subdued, pretty balance, fresh; Mouth: Smooth, direct, clean, poised and balanced, low acid elegant presence ration, long deep finish; Excellent 60; Mixed Case, 54; Case, 51

the second wine wine of Pauillac's Pichon Lalande

2014 Reserve de La Comtesse (Pauillac); Aroma: Wood lifted fruit bright acid herbal; Mouth: Light clean thin, finely delineated, forward,  more delicate than powerful; Very Good - Excellent 59; Mixed Case, 53.1; Case, 50.15

a small estate with a precision and lift rare in Napa

2012 Rafael et Fils Cabernet Sauvignon (0ak Knoll); Color: Very dark dense; Aroma: heady a very light minty edge gives it definition, very rich,; Mouth: sweet very thick, rather dense concentration without being heavy, firm more acid on the finish, rather lush textured, very long; Very Good - Excellent 60; Mixed Case, 54; Case, 51

The above wines assort with the tasting wines or any others in the store for the mixed case discount.


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


(c) Federal Wine and Spirits Inc. 2017