Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

Springtime Whites and Lighter Reds

Maybe we should have called last week’s tasting “wines that taste good in the rain”. Still for the hearty souls that braved the weather it turned out to be a very interesting group of wines.
April 25, 2018

Peter writes,             


2017 Honig Sauvignon Blanc seemed to be at a disadvantage right out of the gate as it turned out that most tasters favored old world wines. The rich forward fruit of this mostly Napa Sauvignon Blanc was too ripe for most of this group. This wine is, though, a very well made example of New World style. The 2016 Cave de la Bonneterie Vouvray La Craie turned out to be just slightly demi-sec in style which very much appealed to some and was a distraction for others. The complexity of flavor and crisp acidity saved the day. The 2016 Masseria Verdeca Valle d’Itria was unanimously praised on all counts. Tasters were enthusiastic about the aromas and flavors, the texture, complexity and the surprising spice accent. We sold out of this one and the next vintage 2017, which will arrive soon, will also be more expensive.

We began the “lighter reds” with the 2016 Brigaldara Valpolicella which showed itself to be light in weight but substantial in aromas, flavors and texture. We throw this one into a tasting periodically and no matter what the vintage it is considerably well appreciated. Next, the 2014 Tangley Oaks Pinot Noir Willamette showed, along with plenty of Pinot fruit, a noticeable woodiness and a tannic finish. This did better after some air. The ringer of sorts was the 2015 Warwick Estate Pinotage Old Bush Vines. This is actually leaning towards full bodied. This showed plenty of dark cherry fruit wrapped in an herbal and spice frame. We are also sold out of this and will be substituting Southern Right Pinotage for any orders.


2017 Honig Sauvignon Blanc: Peach and passionfruit with grapefruit and lemon zest notes. Crisp freshness in the finish. Very Good Plus 19.99/bottle 17.99/mixed case 16.99/case

2016 Cave de la Bonneterie Vouvray La Craie:  Nice blend of pear, honeysuckle, quince and apple with a dry mineral finish. Very Good Plus 16.99/bottle 15.29/mixed case 14.44/case

2016 Masseria Verdeca Valle d’Itria: Tropical fruit, spice, citrus and pear with a mineral spicy aftertaste. Very Good Plus to Excellent  18.99/bottle 17.09/mixed case 16.14/case


2016 Brigaldara Valpolicella: Tart cherry with spices and dark fruits. Smooth, dry, persistent finish with notes of leather. Very Good Plus 15.99/bottle 14.39/mixed case 13.59/case

2014 Tangley Oaks Pinot Noir Willamette: Refined fruit, cherries and raspberries with white pepper, lively acidity and a long finish. Very Good Plus 17.99/bottle 16.19/mixed case 15.29/case

2015 Warwick Estate Pinotage Old Bush Vines: Dark cherry, orange peel, cedar, clove and cinnamon with ripe silky tannins. Very Good Plus to Excellent Sold Out


Special pack: one bottle of each of the above wines for a special price of $105

Special mixed case: Two bottles of each of the above for a special price of: $199

You can also mix any six bottles of the above for a 10% discount or any twelve bottles of the above for a 15% discount


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


            - Peter Hemenway