Federal Wine & Spirits

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This Week's Tasting

Bold Vibrant Flavors Under $20
August 31, 2022

This week six bold, intense wines that you can get for less than $20 apiece, some even down to $15 by the case. We picked them for vibrancy and crispness on the attack.


Wine Tasters

Federal WineLine

Wednesday, August 31, 5 - 6:30

Full Flavors - Less than $20



This week six bold, intense wines that you can get for less than $20 apiece, some even down to $15 by the case. We picked them for vibrancy and crispness on the attack. Most are single-variety, but we found two blends from southern France that are striking on the palate. All will nicely pair with your weekend grill.

The Viognier grape makes the northern Rhone's rare and expensive Condrieu one of the world's finest small production white wines. There it has sizzling vibrancy and intensity unequaled in most other versions. Viognier is hard to grow and harder to make right. Most versions produced elsewhere tend to the flat and flabby.

Domaine La Genestriere's 2021 Viognier has a bracing acidity that captures what can make good Viognier so thrilling. It invigorates the palate.

2021 Moniker Chardonnay la Ribera stands apart from the Chardonnay humdrum, with a strong note of dry American oak that overlays a vibrant acidity and tropical fruit and acid. 

Roussillon in southwest France gets more days of sunshine than anywhere else there. You can taste it in the ripeness of the exciting white and red 2020 St. Roch. It is a winery in the limestone-rich hills of that province. Both are blends: the white blends the smoky Grenache Gris with savory Roussanne, the red a Syrah-Grenache blend like Cotes du Rhone, but richer and plusher than most

Both excite the palate, the white with saline touch to its apple and tropical fruit, the red with leather over a rich plummy fruit.

Piattelli Vineyards is in uplands also, but this time in the foothills of the Argentine Andes. TheirReserva Cabernet Sauvignon is berry-fresh with nicely offsetting light tannic acidity. It is long-lingering on the palate.

Cline winery is in its 50th year of making Zinfandel, but they have not let it goes to their heads in price. Their Ancient Vines Zinfandel is from century-old vines in Contra Costa County. It is classic California, rich and juicy full of bright berries and fruit. Barbecue anyone?



2021 Moniker Chardonnay la Ribera; Aroma: fresh, light, firm, clean fine fresh, sweet fruit, oak limned; Mouth: juicy, rich, intense, juicy, intense thick textured, light buttery note, a dark acid note;Very Good Plus 17.99; Case, 14.99

2021 Domaine La Genestriere Viognier; Aroma: fresh fruity juicy, lightly herbal sweet; Mouth: bright, clean forward lively juicy real Viognier minerality; Very Good 17.99; Case, 14.99

2020 Ch Saint Roch Old Vines White; Color: pale green; Aroma: firm, bright, fresh, lifted, saline lifted; Mouth: juicy bright sweet rich, tropical fruit, bright acid, lively and bright, dry apricot, lemon-lime golden apple; Very Good Plus 18.99; Case, 15.99



2020 St. Roch Cotes de Roussillon Villages; Color: very dark black; Aroma: very deep dark, very dark, deep plummy, leathery some brightens; Mouth: clean, bright deep dark plum fruit, juicy low acid rather long, firm and bright full-bodied; Very Good Plus 18.99; Case, 15.99

2020 Piattelli Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon; Color: very dark opaque; Aroma: light fresh clean, a touch reserved, boysenberry, nutty; Mouth: bright, juicy, intense, smooth textured, firm structure, bright finish, long; Very Good Plus 17.99; Case, 14.99

2020 Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel; Aroma: light, pretty firm, sweet acid, juicy, fresh; Mouth: juicy forward older style zinfandel, fresh acid; Very Good Plus 17.99; Case, 14.99


Full Flavored Case 2 of each $195

Or mix your own,

Any 12 or more bottles for their special case prices.

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           - Len Rothenberg




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