Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

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This Week's Tasting

Favorites for Summer
August 7, 2019

This week, four whites and two reds with little in common save that they made our summer drinking a lot better.


Sofia Thanisch and her daughter Christina

Two came from recent visits from eminent winemakers.

We were very impressed with Louis Moreau’s not-so-simple Chablis. It is a quintessential expression with a delicate fruit that marries well with Chablis's unique chalk flavors. We followed his wines for over 10 years and found the current crop to be the best that he has ever made. It is perfectly balanced in a timbre that is delightfully light and sprightly for summer.

For most of the last century the Dr Thanisch estate, especially its iconic Bernkasteler Doctorvineyard were considered the summit of winemaking in Germany’s Mosel. This century newer winemakers have asserted themselves. Sofia Thanisch and her daughter, Christina, showed us that the younger guns of German winemaking have something to learn from the classics. This 2017 Estate Kabinett shows a balance and delightfully precise expression of off dry Riesling fruit and delicate minerality. It is sheer pleasure in traditional German Riesling wine.

Albarino is a dry white from Galicia in Spain that certainly qualifies as a summer wine. The 2017 Bodegas La Val Licia Albarino is the best albarino we’ve tasted in its price range. It’s bright and citrus infused and goes great with fish and seafood and grilled vegetables. The winery is a quality operation that has vineyards in the best location in Rias Baixas.

Great Deal: The Revue du Vin de France  ranks Fabrice Gripa's small domaine at the same level as Guigal, Clape, Ogier, and Graillot, but  his vineyards are in the less tony neighborhoods of St. Joseph and St. Peray. Although his wines command high prices in France they are less well known here.

His strong>2016 St Peray Les Pins, grown on limestone soils, blends Marsanne with a little Roussanne. Now the latter dominates in an exotically floral nose and mouth that evokes a more feminine version of a magisterial white Hermitage. Very good now, it will age for several years more. Orginally over $40, you can get it for $25 by the case. Just a few left.

We always carry Brigaldara because the Cesari family has a mission statement, that every wine they make will be the best value in its class. And it is. The 2017 Brigaldara Valpolicella is principally made with Corvina and gives us a medium weight wine that is very versatile with food. We love to serve it with salmon or spicy shellfish.  It also goes with all of your meat dishes.

Capreoles is a newer Beaujolais estate that has made a big impression on both sides of the Atlantic Cedric and Catherine Lescarreaux took over abandoned vineyards and began to farm them organic- and biodynamically. Their wines have a rich style that is nicely aligned with the exuberant 2018 Beaujolais vintage. This Beaujolais Villages from the up and coming commune of Lantigny shows the Gamay grape at its deep, joyfully forward best. We loved it. You will too.



2016 Louis Moreau Chablis; Aroma: clean very mineral, very chalky, pretty with a dry lime note; Mouth: clean slightly astringent, mineral, rather deep, light and sprightly long; Very Good Plus32; Mixed Case, 28.8; Case, 27.2

2017 Bodegas La Val Licia Albarino: Straw with green highlights. Grapefruit, quince, fresh herbs and pineapple lead to citrus finish with green apple and mineral.  Very Good Plus17.99/bottle  16.19/mixed case  15.29/case

2017 WWe Dr. Thanisch Erben Thanisch Riesling  Kabinett; Aroma: minersal, rather fresh, bright acid, , rather clean; Mouth: juicy low acid rounded fleshy, nicely mineral on the back end, raher fine, forward, sweet, rather pretty, nice balance; Very Good Plus 17.99; Mixed Case, 16.19; Case, 15.29

2016 Bernard Gripa St Peray Les Pins; Aroma: heady and very ripe and  intense rich, very set very dense, with almost honied, camomile notes; Mouth: dense fine acid& good minerality, thick like a lighter white Hermitage light , floral, so ripe as to be almost sweet on the finish; Excellent Was $43 Now 29.99; Mixed Case, 26.99; Case, 25.49



2017 Brigaldara Valpolicella: Medium bright ruby. Aromas and flavors of cherries, flowers and spices. Medium boried and a nice balanced finish.  Very Good Plus 15.99/bottle  14.39/mixed case  13.59/case

2018 Capreoles Beaujolais Villages l'Amourgandise- Organic- Biodynamic; Aroma: very rich rarher dense, juicy, firm minerality, juicy rather dense, fruity, ; Mouth: Juicy rather rich very full, a hearty Gamay fine tannins, clean rather bright , long; Very Good Plus 17.99; Mixed Case, 16.19; Case, 15.29


8-7 Summer Favorites Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $225

Instore only 8-7 Summer Favorites Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $119

mix any 6- 11 above wines for 10% off

any 12 or more for 15% off


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