Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read what our customers thought

This Week's (Home Version) Tasting

Steve’s Social Isolation Relief Kit
March 18, 2020

We get a lot of calls thanking us for Steve, the Bearer of Good Things in the Federalmobile. Not only is he good at his job, but he is always thinking about his customers. Last week he had a great idea – a lot of you are stuck at home. Why don't we come up with a mixed case of not too expensive wines to make your meals a bit happier.

P'tit Paysan

We got to work  and came up with some of our proven favorites for all you shut-ins, voluntary or not. 

            So this week a sextet of some of our best values. These are tasty wines that everyone will love and won't put too much dent in your checkbook.

            Two whites to start. Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc is the best value we have found for that grape.  It's made by our ace South African winery, Hamilton-Russell. Southern Right is a Three Bears sort of Sauvignon Blanc; not too tart, not too grassy, just right. It has been a best seller for us because it has an old world food-friendly acidity that nicely complements a New World melon ripeness at a still very affordable price.

            Last week winemaker Ian Brand did an impromptu tasting at the store. Tasters loved his P'tit Paysan Chardonnay. It comes from cool climate Monterey. Unlike many of its peers it has no oak and has fresh clean apple -and pear notes that you would find in a very ripe Chablis. Seafood yes with this, even  a briny oyster.

            Chateau des Sarrins  has been recognized for its estate Provencal wines ever since famous Champagne producer Bruno Paillard bought and converted it to organic farming fifteen years ago. Their 2018 Cotes de Provence Rose is nicely rounded with good underlying acidity. Originally priced at $24, we can offer to you at the bargain prices of 16.99.

            We have long been fans of Mark Tarlov’s Willamette Pinot Noirs ranging from his Two Messengers through the superlative Rose & Arrow single vineyard Pinots that he does with Liger-Belair. His value Straight Shooter Pinot Noir, like its big brothers is open and honest with mouth-filling black fruit depth. It's got a lot more substance than many of its peers in the escalating price world of Pinot Noir. Good acidity means that it will go as well with game fish as with meat. 

Two Mountains Hidden Horse Red Blend No 17. s a new release of a hit atan impromptu tasting we had with winemaker Matt Rawn. From Yakima Valley, Washington it has a parentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, given dimension by bits of Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Malbec. It starts tight and bright, but if you give it some time in a decanter or the glass, will reward you with a wonderfully complex medium bodied Bordeaux blend

Good Napa Cabernet has a special quality of layered flavors, depth, and rich fruit.  Now a very selective micro negociant,  the venerable Martin Ray label made for a wine that is stunningly characteristic in the 2017 vintage.  We had not tasted anything recently that compared to its quality and depth anywhere near its price. 2017 Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon Napa for steak lovers with everything you find in much more expensive Napa Cabs. It has become our customers favorite under $20 Cab



2019 Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc; Color: Pale green straw; Aroma: Rounded fruity, light melon notes , with citrus and mineral accents; Mouth: Clean rather fine acidity, ripe and fleshy, fine acids on a long finish; Very Good Plus 15.99; Mixed Case, 14.39; Case, 13.59

2017 Le P'tit Paysan Chardonnay Jacks Hill; Aroma: crisp, apply, rather firm,  crisp, plump rounded ; Mouth: juicy rather rich spicy acid juicy, fine acid clean ; Very Good Plus 22.99; Mixed Case, 20.69; Case, 19.54



2018 Ch. Sarrins Cotes de Provence RoseOrganic; Aroma: juicy heady rather sweet, nicely firm, light fresh; Mouth: juicy rather round fleshy, good middle some bright acid, firm finish; Very Good Plus 16.99; Mixed Case, 15.29; Case, 14.44



2017 Maison l'Envoye Straight Shooter Pinot Noir; Color: medium dark; Aroma: Mixed cherry & plum, some blackberry; Mouth: clean bright sweet ;y ripe and forward, bright acid over dark fruit, good  length; Very Good 17.99; Mixed Case, 16.19; Case, 15.29

Two Mountain Hidden Horse Red Blend No 17; Color: medium dark, ; Aroma: spicy, berry plum, rather dense, clean lean; Mouth: light bright acid line,  sweet fruit, bright rather tight finish; Very Good Plus 18.99; Mixed Case, 17.09; Case, 16.14

2017 Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon; Color: very dark opaque purple brown; Aroma: some depth tar clean nice depth rather rich; Mouth: sweet ripe currant on the attack, backed with plum, a touch of wood & nice acid, long fine tannins, very Napa; Very Good Plus 18.99; Mixed Case, 17.09; Case, 16.14


Steve’s Relief case: Special, two each of the above wines - $191

Downtown: Steve’s Relief Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $101

Or Mix any 12 for 15% off

Any 6 for 10% off


Steve will be happy to come to your home with some bottled sunshine. He'll bring it in or leave it at your door – your choice.


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


           - Len Rothenberg