Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

Spicy Mediterranean Reds

Last week was a little crazy as all the wines had similarities but each was very much defined by its own character.
April 11, 2018

The 2013 Librandi Duca San Felice Ciro Rosso Riserva from Calabria was very interesting and complex with terrific balance and an Asian spice finish. This was the value wine of the tasting. The 2014 Sardus Pater Is Arenas Carignano del Sulcis Riserva showed a more direct approach with some power and angle in the fruit. It is very distinctive and was also very well liked.

The 2014 Quinta de Ventozelo Douro Reserva from Portugal was , while rich in flavor, the most restrained. A lot of people got more out of the second taste. Some tasters have found in the past that the style of Priorat was too rich and strong. The 2014 Bodegas Juan Gil Orowines Bluegray Priorat showed itself to be much more well behaved. While still peppery it was less overtly spicy than the others.

Next we had the 2014 Alpha Estate Xinomavro Hedgehog Vineyard from Greece. For most, this was the first time they had ever tried a Xinomavro.  It is true for all of us that when we try something for the first time we do not have a reference point as to whether we should like it or not. So it seemed last week for this wine. Still Bob G thought it was really good and that counts for me.  The 2015 Pelissero Langhe Nebbiolo  was tannic and spicy in a balanced way and was the favorite wine of the night. At least it was until we had the bonus wine which was a 2013 Fontanafredda Barolo Serralunga. Every taster went a little crazy for this one, especially at the price of only 47/bottle.

The wines all showed well and the tasting was fun.


2013 Librandi Duca San Felice Ciro Rosso Riserva: Bright ruby. Cherries with notes of fig and tobacco. Substantial and well structured with a long spicy finish. Very Good Plus to Excellent 18.99/bottle 17.09/mixed case 16.14/case

2014 Sardus Pater Is Arenas Carignano del Sulcis Riserva: Ruby red. Spicy, with red berries, sage and rosemary. Notes of violet over fresh elegant tannins. Touch of salinity in the long finish  Very Good Plus to Excellent  28/bottle 25.20/mixed case 23.80/case

2014 Quinta de Ventozelo Douro Reserva: Dark red. Plum and red berries with a balsamic floral character. Vanilla, spice and white pepper with smooth tannin in the finish. Needs to breath. Very Good Plus to Excellent   21/bottle 18.90/mixed case 17.85/case

2014 Bodegas Juan Gil Orowines Bluegray Priorat: Dark red. Concentrated plum, licorice with notes of cardamom, dark chocolate and toasty oak.  Very Good Plus to Excellent 24/bottle 21.60/mixed case 20.40/case

2014 Alpha Estate Xinomavro Hedgehog Vineyard: Purple ruby. Cherries, leather, pepper and clove. Full bodied and tannic with blackberry and quince in the long finish.  Very Good Plus to Excellent. 26/bottle 23.40/mixed case 22.10/case

2015 Pelissero Langhe Nebbiolo: Bright ruby. Cherries, roses, hazelnut and white pepper. Lightly smoky and balsamic and a balanced finish. Very Good Plus to Excellent 23.00/bottle 20.70/mixed case 19.55/case

Special six pack: One bottle of each of the above for a special price of $127

Special case: Two bottles of each of the above for a special price of $240


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


            - Peter Hemenway