Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

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New Oregon Pinots

The 2013 Colene Clemens Pinot Noir Margo was well on its way to becoming the most popular wine of the tasting for its mouth-filling fruit and soft delicacy. Then one lady...
May 31, 2017


... who identified herself as a chemistry teacher sounded a discordant chemical note. "Ketone," she said, "I was reminded of ketones in the lab."

Most of us scrambled to remember what a ketones are (oxidized alcohols including acetone for those of you for whom high school chemistry is a dim memory) Most tasters though liked whatever it was. Another former chemistry teacher,- they were popping up all over last week - said that she didn't perceive any at all.

No one had a chemistry set, so we couldn't get the true answer, but wine tasting isn't science, let alone, as the ubiquitous wine scorers would have it, mathematics. So based on noses and tongues alone, the Clemens continued its triumphant march to tasting favorite.

More generally, tasters divided between those who preferred the more delicate, sculpted, dare I say feminine style of the 2013s versus those who preferred the richer heavier, more robust style of the 2014s. The latter group loved the rich complexity of the Raptor Ridge Shea, although there were those who for sentimental and other reasons were attached to the Cristom. If you are tempted by either of these, decanting a good hour or two before drinking is highly recommended.

The 2012 J Christopher was in a class by itself softer and Delaware, it was the favorite of the son of a third group. We have only bottles left.

Everyone loved the fresh fruity appeal of the 2015 Cooper Mountain Pinot Gris. Nicely balanced with an offsetting acidity, it is a great value at $15.99. Many bottles left the store last week.


2015 Cooper Mountain Pinot GrisOrganic; Aroma: heady lightly fragrant, reserved, flinty; Mouth: juicy fresh rounded fruit, sweet peach and citrus, long, good acidity, ripe; Very Good Plus 15.99; Mixed Case, 14.39; Case, 13.59


2013 Cooper Mountain Pinot Noir Organic; Aroma: deep plummy, dense, clear plum; Mouth: smooth deep notes, clean bright acid medium bodied, fresh, long; Very Good Plus 23.99; Mixed Case, 21.59; Case, 20.39

2013 Colene Clemens Pinot Noir Margo; Color: light red black; Aroma: very fresh, saline, an ash note, fine, softly edged; Mouth: clean very pretty fine again, smooth, the beginnings of older herbal fruit, nice finely pretty, fullish in the mouth very nicely balanced, full; Very Good - Excellent 38; Mixed Case, 34.2; Case, 32.3

2012 J Christopher Dundee Hills Pinot Noir; Color: Medium dark; Aroma: Heady dense overripe  fleshy rare dense; Mouth: Juicy rare rich clean firm. Dense low toned spicy acidity  grainy acids long; Very Good - Excellent 

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate "a focused and vibrant bouquet with clean redcurrant and black plum fruit, with just a slight tinny quality coming through. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit, understated on the entry, but very nicely balanced with a focused and elegant, feminine finish. There is a sense of suaveness about this Pinot Noir that ticks all the boxes."

$43; Mixed Case, 38.7; Case, 36.55

2014 Cristom Pinot Noir Mt. Jefferson Cuvee; Color: light red pretty rather fine; Aroma: pretty rather lifted, fresh, herbal full; Mouth: clean smooth, plummy fine acid rich textured, firm underlying tannins; Very Good Plus

Josh Reynolds, Vinous - "Bright red. Forward, spice-accented aromas of fresh red berries, cola and lavender are joined by mineral and allspice nuances that emerge with aeration. Sweet and incisive in the mouth, offering juicy raspberry and floral pastille flavors and a touch of smokiness. Finishes silky and very long, with repeating red fruit character; gentle tannins come in slowly to contribute grip. ...shows quite a light touch for the vintage."

 $29.99; Mixed Case, 26.99; Case, 25.49

2014 Raptor Ridge Pinot Noir Shea; Color: light red black; Aroma: elegant fine low toned, nutty, full; Mouth: fine acidity. subtle, fine elegant, deep notes, fine acid, long rich & sweet dense, bright acid, full, black cherry; Excellent 

Burghound "somewhat somber though notably more complex with its spicy array of briar, plum, dark berries and earth hints. Here too there is a lovely sense of vibrancy to the delicious, round and generously proportioned medium-bodied flavors that also exhibit a mild touch of austerity on the lingering and balanced finale."

$50; Mixed Case, 45; Case, 42.50


5-31 Oregon Pinot Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $344

5-31 Oregon Pinot Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $182


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