Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

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This Week's Tasting

Sonoma Winemaker Byron Kosuge - Pinot Noir + Friends on California's North Coast
June 19, 2024

We are happy to welcome back Byron Kosuge, an authentically artisanal winemaker.


Wine Tasters 

This Week

Wed, Jun 19, 2024

Sonoma Winemaker Byron Kosuge

In-store, 5 - 6:30pm



Byron Kosuge

We are happy to welcome back Byron Kosuge, an authentically artisanal winemaker. His wines are full of fruit with a clarity and precision that caress your palate. You can taste the wines' origins. Byron is virtually a one-person operation. His talents are in meticulous winemaking and good taste, more than self-promotion. Virtually a one-person operation, his tiny production has escaped the notice of the claque of critics but has impressed our Federalista customers over the last few years and made him one of our favorites.


He says it best himself:

 "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: [Nearly all] are winegrowers—I like to be close to the source

 With his characteristic modesty, he omits that in the 90s, he was the winemaker at Saintsbury, then an icon of California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.


In April, I tasted some of Byron's upcoming 2002 releases with him in his Sonoma Coast winery. His chardonnay and a Pinot Noir are quietly bravura wines that now come from a vineyard on the border of the premium West Sonoma Coast, which gives them more definition. At the same time, in 2022, they are softer and more approachable.


It's worth coming to the tasting for the 2009 Syrah alone. From the Hudson Ranch in Carneros, it's now at its peak of maturity. It's ripe and balanced with the beginnings of secondary notes, a joy for the palate.


Byron also makes wines for MacIntyre Vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Their 2020 Dornfelder is made with a grape native to Germany but rarely grown in this country. It is hearty and dark-fruited, given a degree of finesse by an overlay of pleasing spice.


Byron Kosuge


2022 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast; Aroma: Heady, rich, and intense with herbal notes; Mouth: Clean sweet forward, intense, dry minerally, firm, lean acidity, good length; Very Good - Excellent $43; Prearrival Case, $35



2022 Pinot Noir Rose; Color: very light clean fresh; Aroma: fresh rounded fresh, a touch of melon; Mouth: clean, bright, nice lemony acidity, clean finish, long; Very Good Plus $23.99; Prearrival Case, $19.99



2022 Gamay Noir Carneros; Color: medium dark; Aroma: Lightly mineral, lightly herbal, herbal and nuanced, deep layered, light pretty lift; Mouth: Clean, light bright but with layered quality, bright acid, good intensity, young; Very Good Plus $32; Prearrival Case, $26


2021 Pinot Noir El Galpon Carneros; a deeper version of The Shop Very Good Plus $40; Prearrival Case $32


2022 Pinot Noir The Shop Carneros; Color: Medium dark; Aroma: Firm, rounded soft, black fruit, pretty and intense, nicely rich, enveloping; Very Good Plus $43; Prearrival Case, $35


2022 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast; Color: Light red; Aroma: Light fresh, clean, softly herbal, assertive round red fruit, fragrant, raspberry; Mouth: Bright acid, clean, supple, mouth-filling, bright intense, fine acid, very clean, lithe; Very Good - Excellent $45; Prearrival Case, $36


2009 Syrah Hudson; Aroma: heady lifted, aromatic bacon, rich & sweet, tapenade; Mouth: sweet, dense, fine avid, dark, jammy fresh, secondary notes, fine tannins, low toned long; Excellent $45; Prearrival Case, $36


2020 McIntyre Vineyards Dornfelder; Color: very dark black red; Aroma: light, heady, fresh, pretty, juicy, and fine; Mouth: clean, light, angular in the back, firm, heady, richly dense fruit, long; Very Good Plus $37; Prearrival case, $29.99


Mix any 12 bottles at their case prices

These wines are offered before arrival. They will will arrive in early July.


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





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