Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

Tempranillo and Sangiovese - Compare and Contrast

Last week's tasting was fascinating in its tortoises and hares as to how the wines showed early and later in the tasting.
February 8, 2017


Last week we had three different wines made with Tempranillo grapes and three different ones made with Sangiovese. Each set of three shared a family resemblance to each other but were still very different. We began with the 2011 Franco-Espanolas Rioja Bordon Reserva which showed the softer more modern style of Tempranillo. While it would certainly be god with food, it was the only wine of the night really suitable for drinking by itself. Tasters were impressed. We followed this with the 2013 Dievole Chianti Classico. This showed a very traditional style with plenty of structure and called out for a steak. People loved it.

Then we took a hard left turn into the region of Toro for our second Tempranilo. The 2013 Numanthia Termes Toro was dramatically more intense than the Bordon. Full bodied and spicy, it also showed plenty of tannin and most tasters agreed that it could use some bottle age. The Sangiovese in this flight was the 2010 Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico Riserva. This wine is from one of the oldest estates in Gaiole. The current owner, Giovanni, does employ some more modern methods, however, such as the use of some new oak in the Riserva. The wine showed a balanced complexity with a very nice touch of floral, bramble, and spicy character. There were lots of second tastes for this one.

Then we got a bit more serious. The 2005 Lopez de Heredia Rioja Reserva Bosconia is as classic and complex as Tempranillo gets. Brambly and spicy with rich dark fruit, this one just kept changing and growing in the glass. The last Sangiovese was the 2004 Casanova delle Spinetta Sassontino and, as usual with Giorgio’s wines, it was a showstopper. Everyone was impressed. We had brought the last few cases of this over from the winery and now it is sold out. The winery still has some cases available of the 2004 Sasontino Riserva which is about double the price. If you are interested let me know.

Tasters found the wines interesting and very good. Each of the wines had favorite votes and more importantly, everyone had fun.



2011 Franco-Espanolas Rioja Bordon Reserva: Bright ruby. Red fruits, light oak and an herbal touch. Medium body and balance. Very Good Plus 19.99; Mixed Case, 17.99; Case, 16.99

2013 Dievole Chianti Classico: Deep ruby. Dark cherries, pepper and spice with a nice undertone of bramble. Full body. Very Good Plus 18.99; Mixed Case, 17.09; Case, 16.14

2013 Numanthia Termes Toro: Deep ruby. Spicy dark fruit with muscular texture and chewy edges. A lot going on here. Very Good to Excellent 32.00; Mixed Case, 28.80; Case, 27.20

2010 Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico Riserva: Medium bright ruby. Violets, cherries and earthy spice in a complex format with a touch of oak. Very Good to Excellent 30.00; Mixed Case, 26.99; Case, 25.49

2005 Lopez de Heredia Rioja Reserva Bosconia: Ruby. Intense fruit but with subtlety and finesse. Polished and refined dark fruit with hints of vanilla and sandalwood. Excellent 43.00; Mixed Case, 38.70; Case, 36.55

2004 Casanova della Spinetta Sassontino: Ruby red. Minerals, spice, flowers frame intense dark fruit with black cherry and mixed berries. Expressive with layers of flavor and a long fine finish. Excellent 48.00; Mixed Case, 43.20; Case, 40.80


Compare & Contrast Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $326

Compare & Contrast Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $173


Order by phone at 617.367.8605, or reserve here: Order@federalwine.com


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


            - Peter Hemenway


(c) Federal Wine and Spirits Inc. 2017