Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

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This Week's Tasting

Six Wines We Loved
June 7, 2023

This week six especially appealing wines that jump out because of their vivacity, subtlety and/or precision.


Wine Tasters

Wines We Loved

Wednesday, 6/7/23

5:00 - 6:30pm



Six Wines We Loved


This week six especially appealing wines that jump out because of their vivacity, subtlety and/or precision.


The 2021 Grosjean Petite Arvine Vigne Rovettaz has elements of all three. the rare, savory Petite Arvine grape is grown in tiny quantities only in Italy’s Valle d’Aosta and one Swiss canton. Very little is exported, so it is almost unknown here.

The 2021 Grosjean Petite Arvine comes from a single vineyard at 700 meters elevation. The wine is bright and fragrant with bracing acidity and solid structure.

2021 Grosjean Petite Arvine Vigne Rovettaz Valle d’Aosta: Bright straw with green highlights. Red grapefruit, waxy lime in a dry textured extract highlighted by wisteria and fennel. Bracing acidity and solid structure with real complexity. Surprising saline undercurrent in the finish. Try this with lobster.Excellent Outstanding $33, Case $27.99

 Quality and value in the 2021 Rouvalis Assyrtiko. it has all the smoky lava richness of the famous wines of Santorini with mouthwatering seafood-friendly acidity but it cost half as much.

2021 Rouvalis Assyrtiko; Aroma: Clean, very firm, heady mineral, and bright with light smoke Mouth: Clean light firm, rounded sweet fruit, slightly smoky, herbal finish, long ripe acid; Very Good - Excellent $23.99; Case, $19.99


2016 Villeneueve Saumur Champigny Les Gras Clos is the top cuvee from one of the best estates of the mid-Loire.The 2016 is note-perfect Loire Cabernet. It is in a very good place right now with impeccable balance between fruit lightly kissed by oak, balanced by acidity and light tannins. Its balance makes it what the French call vin de reve, a wine to contemplate.

2016 Ch De Villeneuve Saumur Champigny Le Grand Clos; Color: very dark, heady and earthy, rather full, earthy a touch of leather full; Aroma: some brightness; Mouth: bright, clean nicely concentrated, forward, very poised; Excellent$40; Case, $34

The legendary Robert Foley was in town recently with his range of excellent Napa wines. We have loved his affordable Charbono, which used to be a staple Napa Valley grape most famous in the 1960s Inglenook Estate renditions. Alas, its Napa plantings have disappeared - Cabernet commands much higher prices. Charbono is a mountain grape, with lower alcohol and acidity. In Napa its wine is smooth with an intriguingly herbaceousness. Foley has the original Inglenook vineyard. Decant well in advance before serving.

2018 Robert Foley Charbono; Color: Very dark, almost black; Aroma: Heady full, dark fullish, dense, low toned mochas cream note rather bright; Mouth: Light on entry rather smooth, clean light fresh, fine tannins, bright, rather long, light bright finish, lighter clean fine, lean; Very Good – Excellent $43; Case, $37

Most Cotes du Rhones are heavily Grenache. Charles Helfenbein's vineyards are in Syrah’s northern Rhone homeland. His Cotes du Rhone is entirely from entirely that dark and spicy grape. He makes a vivid and intense, powerful and age-worthy wine, much like the better-known Saint Joseph or Crozes Hermitage, but much less expensive. The 2019 and coming 2020 are vivid and intense, explosive on the palate with good aging potential.

2019 Charles Helfenbein Cotes du Rhone St. Julien; Color: very dark, dark black; Aroma: heady and smooth rich, spicy when very heady; Mouth: smooth fine, acid, bright clean intense, very racy, well composed with dark underlying fruit, very long; Very Good Plus $26.99; Case, $22.94

Chianti Rufina was one of the first subzones of Chianti to be designated as DOC Quality by the ruling Medicis. This high-elevation area has noticeably cool, clean air and perfect soil for grape cultivation. Selvapiana is considered the best estate in the zone. The Bucerchiale vineyard is 100% old vine Sangiovese and produces wine of great finesse and silky tannins. It ages extremely well.

Selvapiana is certified organic and uses spontaneous fermentation. They know what they are doing.

2019 Selvapiana Chianti Rufina Bucerchiale Riserva: Bright ruby. Aromas and flavors of dark cherries and small red berries with notes of rose, olive blossom, and lavender. Fresh acidity with great finesse and silky tannins. Amazing layered texture underlying remarkable complexity. Excellent Outstanding $39, case $33


Federal Favorites Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $349

Federal FavoritesPack: Special, one each of the above wines - $189


Make your case of any twelve bottles at their case prices

People who come to the tasting can get any wine at the case discounted cae price


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