Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read what our customers thought

This Week's Tasting

Wines for Easter (& Passover too)
April 17, 2019

Tasty wines both familiar and not for this year’s holidays


Easter Bunny

To start, a nice all-purpose Chardonnay. We liked the 2016 Chappellet Chardonnayfor its poise and balance. Chappellet is more famous for its reds, but makes very solid whites also. It is a wine for all seasonings, as well as a variety of holiday dishes.

Cinzia Pelazzo and husband Eugenio make a little wine called Barolo in Piedmont. However both of them fell in love with Sardinia years ago and now have a small winery in the northeast mountains of the island. Here they make an amazing white wine. The 2017 Raica Vermentinodi Gallura Sarraiola is made from very ripe grapes, part of which get 14 days of skin contact to add color. The aromas and flavors are rich and distinctive.

Our good friend Lorenzo Negro has decided to produce his first Rosato of Nebbiolo. The 2018 Lorenzo Negro Rosato San Martin is dry and very fresh and, of course, with an extra spicy dimension from the Nebbiolo. It is also made in a unique way as an homage to historic Piedmont workers. These workers were poor and were only allowed to have the grapes on the vines that were the poorest for use in making wine because of very high acid content. These were referred to as Saint Martin grapes because they were usually harvested around the Saint Martin’s day celebration. Lorenzo uses a small percentage of these San Martin grapes in this Rosato. The result is a clean structure in the wine and a very refreshing taste.

 Pinot Noir seems to be having the kind of popularity that ended up being the ruin of Chardonnay and Merlot. There is now more and more of it made under more and more labels. It has become more difficult to find good wines at reasonable prices, especially those that have the succulence that most people love. The 2016 Talbott Pinot Noir Kali Hart stood out among the hundred odd Pinots we tasted this winter, for its luscious sensuality  and very attractive price.

Lessona is a commune in Piedmont, north of Barolo. In the 18thand 19thcenturies, the wine produced here was perhaps the most famous in Italy. Due to the ravages of the World Wars this industry essentially disappeared. It is now coming back. One of the chief producers is Proprieta Sperino. The 2012 Proprieta Sperino Uvaggio is Nebbiolo blended with Croatina and Vespollina. The wine is ridiculously good.  It will complement both lamb and complex ham dishes very well.

A kosher wine would have been at the Last Supper. Why not Easter too? Mike liked the 2013 Jerusalem Vineyards Shiraz 3400.  It is 85% Shiraz grapes with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and Merlot. The wine comes from Israeli vineyards at Givat Nili and the Judean Shephelah. Oak aging gives aromas of red cherry, smoked meat and exotic spices with balanced body and a pleasant acidity. Kosher for Passover also (we have a number of other Kosher wines too)



2016 Chappellet Chardonnay; Color: light clean; Aroma: very pretty rather oaky clean bright acid, nutty; Mouth: clean sweet juicy acid rather pretty fine, clean sweet chicle on the finish; Very Good Plus24.99; Mixed Case, 22.49; Case, 21.24

2017 Raica Vermentino di Gallura Sarraiola: Deep yellow. Rich apricot and apple with acacia and thyme with a saline mineral finish.  Very Good Plus to Excellent32/bottle 28.80/mixed case  27.20/case



2018 Lorenzo Negro Rosato San Martin: Deep ruby pink. Aromas of flavors of cherry and spice with notes of flowers and herbs. Very pleasant aftertaste with good structure. Very Good Plus Plus. 21/bottle 18.90/mixed case 17.85/case



2016 Talbott Pinot Noir Kali Hart; Aroma: heady dense, rather bright pretty, firm, rather plummy ; Mouth: some clean rather sweet fruit, firm, tannins, luscious long; Very Good Plus23.99; Mixed Case, 21.59; Case, 20.39

2012 Proprieta Sperino Uvaggio:  Bright ruby. A little closed at first, then a dramatic opening towards the finish. Cherry, olive flower, sage, jasmine and thyme with violets and smooth tannin in the complex finish. A nice touch of spice throughout.  Excellent Was 37/bottle) Now 29.99/bottle

2013 Jerusalem Vineyards 3400 Shiraz Kosher Very Good Plus 23.99; Mixed Case, 21.59; Case, 20.39


Special, two each of the above wines - $266

Instore only Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $141

mix any 6- 11 in stock 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