Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

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This Week's Tasting

Bargains in Overlooked 'Misfit' Wines
January 25, 2023

This week five wines overlooked because they don't fit a category or were created outside one. They're sometimes hard for marketers to explain to people, so excellent wines languish on importers' shelves.


Wine Tasters

Tonight - Bargains in Overlooked 'Misfit' Wines

Wed 1/25

5:00 - 6:30pm




Bargain Misfits


This week five wines overlooked because they don't fit a category or were created outside one. They're sometimes hard for marketers to explain to people, so excellent wines languish on importers' shelves.

They are just the sort of bargains we seek out. This week five such, four at great discounts. Quantities are limited, however.

2017 Domaine Ogereau Anjou Villages Cote de la Houssaye-

Cabernet Sauvignon; Tannins Soft as a Cat’s Purr

The Loire valley is famous for its whites and rounded cabernet franc reds, But cabernet sauvignon? Almost alone, Ogereau has been growing it on the stony schist of its la Houssaye vineyard for decades. I loved their 2002 on release, cellared, and took pleasure in my last bottle only a decade ago. The 2017 is just like it, a dense, smooth, and nuanced, unmistakably cabernet sauvignon whose tannins don't bark but are soft as a cat's purr.

2017 Domaine Ogereau Anjou Villages Cote de la Houssaye- Organic; Color: very purple; Aroma: lightly spiced, very rich, intense, clean, pretty, fine; Mouth: thick, very dense, smooth, heady, classic dark currant, in an elegant format; Excellent was $40 Now 29.99; case, 24.99


Silk Wines from Sow's Grapes

Two Noble wines from Less Usual Grapes and Places


South Africa; Pinotage

2016 Ashbourne 

Can you make a great wine from Pinotage, South Africa's mongrel grape variety? Anthony Hamilton Russell thinks so, But not in the usual vineyards in warm Stellenbosch, but in the cooler Hemel en Aarde valley next to his famous Pinot Noir. He treats it more like Bordeaux, and so it is tightly wound, intense, and concentrated with a spicy acidity that gives it character. Tasted at the winery

2016 Ashbourne PinotageOrganic; Color: Very dark opaque great black depth; Aroma: Very rich, very dense reserved, clean sweet, reserved spice; Mouth: rich sweet intense, very pure, fruity, fine tannins clean, fine acids concentrated but balanced, firm finish; Excellent; was $54, Now 39.99, Case, 29.99 very limited


Spain, Jumilla Monastrell

2019 Juan Gill Blue label

And now for something completely different. There is cabernet sauvignon In Juan Gil's Blue Label, Syrah, too. Still, the primary grape is Monastrell which in Spain's Jumilla is riper and fleshier than it is under the name Mourvedre elsewhere. From very old Monastrell vineyards - French and American oak here, juicy and a blast of mouthfilling fruit. Zinfandel fans will love it

2019 Juan Gil Blue Label; Color: ruby black; Aroma: floral and aromatic, very ripe black fruit spice; Mouth: juicy and mouth filling. Fleshy, exuberant blue fruit succulent with mice underlying tannin finishes long and ripe; Very Good - Excellent was $48 Now $35; Case, 29.95


2019 Artadi Valdeginés

The Rioja That isn’t

Harvard Law and Medical schools have opted out of the US News rankings. In wine, Cheval Blanc, Ausone, and Angelus have left the St. Emilion classification. Sometimes the best aim is above and outside the rules of the competition.

Juan Carlos López de Lacalle, the director of Artadi, looked more toward Bordeaux than Madrid in his winemaking. At dinner at the winery some years ago, he served as his reserve wines against mature Cheval Blanc and Haut Brion. They were in the same league. In 2016 he decided to leave the Rioja DO to make the purest expression of Tempranillo grape

The Valdeginés vineyard formed part of his reserve Pagos Viejos. Planted in 1989, it is sandstone over limestone. The 2019 is a warm vintage making a wine of deep dark fruit, accented by wood that is French, not American, aged for no more than two years in barrel. The fruit is rich, very dense, and full, 

2019 Artadi Valdegines - Organic; Color: dark purple; Aroma: dark berry and violet, accented by oak; Mouth: dark cherry, light mocha note, good acid, very nicely balanced, bug and full, not too heavy, very long; Excellent Was $64 Now $48; Case, 39.99 packed in wood cases of 6


But Don’t They Make Red Burgundy?

2020 Sylvain Cathiard Bourgogne Aligote

Just arrived, two cases only of an Aligote, Burgundy's other grape, grown by one of Burgundy's top growers of Pinot Noir. We got too little to taste ourselves, but there are excellent notes from Neal Martin, who thinks it holds up to their reds

"The 2020 Bourgogne Aligoté, bottled in April 2021, has a fine bouquet with lemon thyme and light orange pith scents. The palate is well balanced with good weight, honeyed in texture with resinous notes on the finish. Fine."

2020 Cathiard Bourgogne Aligoté $45, by the case of 6, 38.99 


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



New, Notable, Not Much of It

2020 Domaine Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee 


Laurence Feraud thinks that this edition of her highly regarded Chateauneuf may be among the three best she has ever made. After tasting it twice, we agree. It is full of energy in a nice tense balance between savory fruit aromas and poised fruit. It is reserved now but promises much for short or long-term aging. We strongly recommend it. Excellent now -Outstanding with cellaring.

"I was even more impressed by the 2020 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Reserve than the 2019. Boasting crazily complex floral scents, garrigue, raspberries, and cherries, this is one incredibly perfumed example of Pegau. Medium to full-bodied, silky, elegant, and long, this is quintessential Pegau. -J.C., Wine Advocate

$125, Special $99 Net, packed in cases of 6


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



These wines (except futures) and any wine in stock assort as follows:

For 12 or more bottles of the same wine, take 15% off.

For 12 or more bottles of various wines, take 10% off.

Wines marked “net” help assemble cases but don’t discount themselves.



downtown on orders more than $75;

in Greater Boston on orders more than $199