Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read what our customers thought

This Week's Tasting

Byron Kosuge
April 27, 2022

Byron describes himself as "...I'm a purist. I prefer unadorned wines, or at least those that carry their adornment gracefully."


Wine Tasters

Federal WineLine

TONIGHT 4:30 – 6:30

Byron Kosuge

Wednesday, May 4

Conde de Valdemar Riojas

with Rioja expert Ana Fabiano

Wednesday May 11

Anthony Hamilton Russell


Byron Kosuge

I asked Byron to tell me a bit about himself. He wrote:

Who I am as a winemaker

 I am a native Californian, born and raised in the Central Valley. I'm a purist. I prefer unadorned wines, or at least those that carry their adornment gracefully. I want to be as natural as I can but don't consider myself a "natural" winemaker in the current sense of the term. Like most new world winemakers, I am inspired by old world wines, but I firmly believe that in the new world, we should be creating our own traditions and not merely copying what came before. 

In addition to my own wine, I work with several other small brands: McIntyre Vineyards, Small Vines Wines, McEvoy Ranch, and ShunYi Cellars, all in California, as well as Kingston Family Vineyards in Casablanca, Chile. It's not a coincidence that all but ShunYi are winegrowers—I like to be close to the source, so to speak. The old cliché is true—great wine is made in the vineyard.

I have known Byron for several years now. He is modest and unassuming, and he's overmodest in his biography. He omits that he was the winemaker and Saintsbury in the 90s when it was an icon for California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Virtually a one-man operation, Byron is an authentic artisanal winemaker. His wines are quiet but very precisely made. We will taste six that represent his style very well. Of his current releases. Including his flagship pinot noir from the famed Hirsch vineyard in Sonoma. In past vintages, I have preferred it to the Hirsch bottlings. (Sorry, Jasmin)

I have tasted only the Syrah of the vintages Byron will show Wednesday. It had the spicy bacon in the nose that is a signature note in better Northern Rhone Syrahs. I liked it a lot and recommend it. I will post my notes on the others next week.

2009 Byron Kosuge Syrah Hudson; Aroma: rather heady lifted, aromatic with bacon, richly sweet, tapenade; Mouth: ripe rather dense, fine acid, dark, jammy fresh, secondary notes, fine tannins, low toned long; Excellent

Tasting Wines

2021 Rose Of Pinot Noir                                               $24, Prearrival $20

2020 Gamay Noir (Carneros)                                       $32, Prearrival $26

2020 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir                                    $43, Prearrival $35

2018 "The Shop" Pinot Noir (Carneros)                   $43, Prearrival $35

2018 'Hirsch Vineyard' Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)   $64, Prearrival $52

2009 'Hudson Vineyard' Syrah (Carneros)                  $40, Prearrival $32


These wines should arrive in late May and are available for preorder at a discount.


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




downtown on orders more than $75;

in Greater Boston on orders more than $199