Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

This Week's Tasting

Clendenen Family Vineyards with Director Mike Mulesky
May 24, 2023

Wines from Jim Clendenen's private vineyards are rarer and less known. Made at and by the team of AuBC, Clendenen Family Vineyard wines often show Jim's more whimsical and adventurous side, expressing intriguing flavors of less common grapes.


Wine Tasters

Clendenen Family Vineyards

with Director Mike Mulesky

Wednesday, 5/24/23

5:00 - 6:30pm


Jim Clendenen

Clendenen Family Vineyards

with Director Mike Mulesky 

Last year California lost Jim Clendenen, one of its most beloved and talented winemakers. He created and became famous for his wines at Au Bon Climat in Santa Barbera.

Wines from his private vineyards are rarer and less known. Made at and by the team of AuBC, Clendenen Family Vineyard wines often show Jim's more whimsical and adventurous side, expressing intriguing flavors of less common grapes. They always have his quality and style.

We liked them a lot when we tasted them last fall. The tasting will include many of those, made with all of Jim's purity and panache.

Tocai Friulano makes delicious mountain wines in its native Friuli. Jim's cool coastal version is an impressive balanced wine full of fruit flecked with savory herbal notes. For seafood.

The Clendenen Bien Nacido Chardonnay is rich, creamy, and balanced. The wine is elegant and powerful, With a light note of oak and barrel. It is one of the richest of the winery's chardonnays.

Mondeuse makes a lighter herbal wine in the mountains of French Savoy. This rendition in the warmer California Coast has marvelously adapted the grape into a tangy, fruity rose, full of savor and spice. Pasta marinara 

You have likely never heard of Valdigue, even though it has been widely planted in California for a century. It was called Napa Gamay until genetic inspection showed it was unrelated to the Beaujolais grape. From a cooler vineyard in Paso Robles, Clendenen Family made it into a refreshing full-fruited medium-bodied, not unlike the Beaujolais style.

Santa Barbara Nebbiolo is not to be confused with those of Piedmont. Again generous fruit, lightly spiced with a touch of the grape's bright acid. In its savory medium body, it recalls a Rhone wine. For red meats on the grill.

Syrah gets extra spice when co-fermented with Viognier in the Rhone's Cote Rotie. The Rancho la Cuna  version captures that in a full-fleshed, instantly agreeable style. 

All these Clendenen wines are gratifyingly easy to like, full of lightly spiced round fruit. They are moderately priced and well worth trying.


Clendenen Family Vineyards


2018 Tocai Friulano; Color: pale green light; Mouth: clean, softly rich, intense, pure fruit, light barrel tannins, nicely fleshy, broad; Very Good - Excellent $21.99; Case, $18.69

2017 Chardonnay Bien Nacido; Aroma: light, bright, clean, fresh, pretty clean, juicy fresh; Mouth: juicy fresh, lightly oaked clean, bright, fleshy, nicely tactile, clean, herbal, firm, fleshy, and soft on the finish; Very Good - Excellent $56; Case, $48



2021 Mondeuse Rose Bien Nacido; Color: medium dark; Aroma: heady dense, fullish, with lightly; Mouth: juicy rounded fleshy bright acid fullish, nicely juicy; Very Good Plus $21.99; Case, $18.99



2019 Valdigue Shell Creek Vineyards; Color: very dark purple red; Aroma: fresh, bright, clean deep, juicy, firm; Mouth: fleshy and very ripe with full rounded fruit rounded, medium body light in affect, refreshing; Very Good Plus$26.99; Case, $22.99

2018 Nebbiolo the Pip; Aroma: heady, very dense, a crisp flinty sweet note, very nicely herbal; Mouth: bright, intense, clean, firm, bright, clean acid edge, very long; Very Good Plus $33; Case, $28

2016 Syrah Viognier Rancho la Cuna; Color: medium dark; Aroma: fresh, lightly aromatic, bright, plump, lightish, heady, dark fruit very intense; Mouth: juicy bright, firm, clean, firm, bright, smooth, lifted, clean, lightly Rhone inflected; Very Good - Excellent $40; Case, $34


5-24-23 Clendenen Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $339


Make your own case of any twelve bottles at their case prices


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



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           - 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.



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