Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

Affordable but fine wines from Michel Chapoutier

The two Marius wines were solid and serviceable, nice for their price. The 2017 Bila Haut Cotes de Roussillon Blanc was even better, an extraordinarily rich and fruity wine for its price. There are only a few cases left.
February 19, 2020


Likewise the red and white Ferraton Crozes Hermitages, were very nice and characterful. The Marsanne of the Blanc showing through in a lithe and lively interpretation. The Red was on the lighter side, but had the quintessential; griotte sour cherry note you find in flavorful wines of the northern Rhone.

But the 2017 Alleno & Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone was the star of the evening. It was solid and vigorous, and lived up to its three-star restaurant hype, , It is mostly Syrah, in a round and deep interpretation. We sold out at the tasting, More is arriving tomorrow.

In a side tasting I and a few of our  Rhone regulars tried some higher end Chapoutier wines that had been open several hours. The group favorite was the also an Alleno botlting, the single vineyard 2017 Alleno Chapoutier St. Joseph Croix de Chabot.  It showed richly concentrated, with fruit still covering whatever tannins it might have had. The Wine Advocate said “Scents of blueberries and blackberries lead into a medium to full-bodied palate that's ripe and silky but firmly tannic and crisply acidic at the same time. Give it a couple of years in the cellar.” My notes below . Arrives tomorrow.


2018Marius Vermentino; Aroma: rather nutty, ,dense mineral, fresh, pretty, rather full; Mouth: clean pretty, lighter body, nice fleshy intensity, bright edge; Very Good 15.99; Mixed Case, 14.39; Case, 13.59

2017 Bila Haut Cotes de Roussillon Blanc        Wine Advocate “a super value. A blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Macabeu, Vermentino and Marsanne, the 2017 CĂ´tes du Roussillon les Vignes de Bila Haut Blanc is plump, round and richly textured in the mouth, yet it's also refreshing, with vibrant flavors of tangerine zest underscored by briny notes on the finish." 15.99; Mixed Case, 14.39; Case, 13.59

2017 Ferraton Crozes Hermitage Blanc ; Color: very pale; Aroma: light clean fresh ,rather pretty, lifted, , a nutty note, fresh edge; Mouth: fleshy light bright acid, beginning to soften, a lime note, good length, & character; Very Good Plus 27.99; Mixed Case, 25.19; Case, 23.79


2018 Marius Grenache Syrah; Color: medium dark, ; Aroma: spicy, rather fleshy, a heady lifted fruit, not overly fat; Mouth: clean medium bodied, primary, nicely spicy, tight acid, rather firm, lean clean light finish; Very Good 15.99; Mixed Case, 14.39; Case, 13.59

2017 Alleno & Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone RougeWine Advocate “full-bodied, layered and rich. Tannic, but filled with dark fruit notes and hints of cola and dried spices, it ends long and velvety. It's an indisputable bargain.” 18.99; Mixed Case, 17.09; Case, 16.14

2017 Ferraton Crozes Hermitage-Matinere Rouge Vinous “Bright violet color. Lucid dark berry and floral aromas are complemented by spice and mineral notes that build with air. Clean and energetic in style, offering juicy blackberry and bitter cherry flavors, a hint of olive and a late hint of spicy cracked pepper. Finishes gently sweet, tannic and quite long, leaving a note of violet pastille behind.” 27.99; Mixed Case, 25.19; Case, 23.79


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In addition:

2017 Alleno Chapoutier St. Joseph Croix de Chabot; Aroma: very ripe, rich and heavy, very pure dark fruit; Mouth: fleshy rather deep, full a touch of leather and graphite, dense very ripe, ; Excellent 48; Mixed Case, 43.2; Case, 40.8


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           - Len Rothenberg