Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

Our Picks of New French and California Chardonnays

Our Wednesday tasters are all the more interesting because they don't feel the need to be vinously correct. No herbs, berries, and tropical fruits here.
June 27, 2018

One person found "blackened popcorn " in the 2015 Walter Hansel Meadows Vineyard Chardonnay. A European womansmelledpetroleum and after further reflection and many repeated tastings pronounced it the best American wine she had tasted so far. Bold and intense, it was one of the favorite wines of the tasting, Blackened petroleum popcorn, maybe, but it tasted so good that we sold out at the tasting. We do have more coming in for you more adventurous types later this week

         The other most loved wine was a complete contrast. Where the Hansel Chardonnay was bold, the 2016 Jacques Girardin Santenay Terres de Bievaux had a crystalline purity with pure higher toned notes of green plum, pear, and apple. It fleshed out as the tasting went on. It was a strong favorite among people who preferred d older world wines.

         A number of people liked the 2016 Florent Rouve Arbois Chardonnay  from France's Jura mountains. It had a low minerality that made it a bit more rough-hewn wine.  Some reveled in that; others wanted more fruit balance.

         The  2016 Ch du Pierreclos Macon Bussieres and 2016 Dubreuil-Fontaine Bourgogne Blanc les Crenilles both struck a midrange balance between fruit and minerality. The Macon showed a sinewy dense fruit buttressed by a low minerality; the Bourgogne Blanc, from a vineyard near Corton, a clean refreshing linearity. Both expanded with air also.

         The  2015 Orin Swift Mannequin Chardonnay was a quieter wine, less assertive but with a suave richness and subtle balance of flavors that some preferred. We have two cases left.

         There was also a bonus wine. The 2015 Jean-Louis Chavy Puligny Montrachet Les Folatieres  demonstrated why and how premier cru white burgundy is the apotheosis of Chardonnay. Its delicate balance and play between the trinity of acid, mineral and fruit beguiled all the tasters. 2015 is an excellent white burgundy vintage., perhaps without the classicism of 2010, the power of 2014 or the vivacity of 2016; but today the most seductive of the three.




2016 Florent Rouve Arbois Chardonnay; Aroma: deep rather heady full, mineral structure; Mouth: clean light acid, fleshy, deep oak, , leesy, bright acid. intense rather rich; Very Good Plus 19.99; Mixed Case, 17.99; Case, 16.99

2016 Dubreuil-Fontaine Bourgogne Blanc les Crenilles; Aroma: Lightly mineral very fresh clean soft apple pear; Mouth: Fresh clean nice chalky mineral very rich, sweet  bright acid, very good length, long; Very Good Plus 26.99; Mixed Case, 24.29; Case, 22.94

2016 Ch du Pierreclos Macon Bussieres Organic; Aroma: rather broad, very dense fleshy, green apple, firm, lightly clean, mineral very dense concentrated; Mouth: dense sweet fruit, rather pretty fine acidity, sexily textured, bright very fine; Very Good - Excellent 27.99; Mixed Case, 25.19; Case, 23.79

2016 Jacques Girardin Santenay Terres de Bievaux; Aroma: lots of sweet oak, clean saline, spicy acidity, fullish fruit, rather dense, lightly herbal ; Mouth: clean very pure, rather finely limey, lovely prettily firm, strong lemon lime & apple  finish, young and primary now, lots of potential; Very Good - Excellent 41.50; Mixed Case, 36.9; Case, 34.85


2015 Orin Swift Mannequin Chardonnay; Aroma: fresh lightly oaky, light oak deep fruit, heady rather dense, fresh acidity; Mouth: clean bright lime-melon, very bright clean, a sense of richness sense of richness; Very Good - Excellent 32; Mixed Case, 28.8; Case, 27.2

2015 Walter Hansel Chardonnay Meadows Russian River; Aroma: fresh very clean, bright lovely entrancing rather dense; Mouth: clean vibrant juicy bright fresh, lively acidity, very long; Excellent 34; Mixed Case, 30.6; Case, 28.9


Chardonnay Picks Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $310

Chardonnay Picks Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $164 - may incur delivery charge

2015 Jean-Louis Chavy Puligny Montrachet Les Folatieres; Color: light green gold; Aroma: sexy deep,very oaky, lightly fresh,  woody , fine clean; Mouth: dense sweet rather fleshy, fullish, fat, clean acid, bright rather firm, tight; Excellent - Outstanding 135; Mixed Case, 121.5; bottles only

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: order@federalwine.com


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           - Len Rothenberg