Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

Cool Cool Climate Pinot Noirs

Chemistry proved an apt name for the Chehelam Pinot Noir. It created just that with last week’s tasters ,popular because it delivered a lot of pure Pinot flavor at a very good price.
March 4, 2020


At the other end of the spectrum the 2016 Matrot Blagny La Piece Sous La Bois even a two hour decant did not coax it out of its shell to the kind of flavors that two critics quoted below found

 It did show an intriguing saline spice and solidity which marked a distinct Blagny personality closest to that of Gevrey Chambertin, but not the same. It is a wine for the cellar, I we have any left after this week, it will certainly be in mine.

Our first bottle of 2017 Maison l'Envoye Pinot Noir Two Messengers had an odd, slightly pungent nose. A second bottle was immensely popular, pure, lithe  and lively,  a crowd pleaser. The first bottle’s oddness had disappeared the next day

We also decanted the Ken Wright Savoya Pinot Noir well in advance, which served it very well It was layered and had the inner tension that marks a vibrant and potentially long-lived Pinot Noir, not that it didn't taste delicious right now.

People liked the depth and density of both the Colene Clemons and Attache Pinot Noirs. The latter is extraordinary for its price.

A Budget Pinot That Gives More Than its Price

There have been a lot of Pinot plantings in Oregon which means there is a lot of juice available for people who know how to pick it and what to do with it. Chehalem Vineyards certainly knows how to do that as evidenced by their Chemistry which I think is a rather coldly passionless name for a warm and entrancing wine. From the warm 2017 vintage, it tastes of ripe strawberry and has a surprisingly dense and supple mouth feel for a wine of its price.

2017 Chemistry Pinot Noir; Color: light vivid red black; Aroma: clean light rather mineral, , pretty, an herbal note; Mouth: juicy nicely intense fine, acid, rounded thick textured, plum, fine acid tannins, young; Very Good Plus 16.99; Mixed Case, 15.29; Case, 14.44

Two from a Partnership of French & American Visionaries

Mark Tarlov is a Willamette Valley Visionary. The Rose & Arrow single vineyard Pinots that he makes in conjunction with legendary Burgundy winemaker Louis-Michel Liger-Belair are extraordinary in their definition and precision and have won accolades from the wine press.

They make Maison l'Envoye wines for more every day use, and they stand out from others for their quality at a price. Both have been favorites here for a few years now. The Two Messengers is light, friendly, and forward easy drinking, a very engaging wine perfect for lighter meats, salads, and even some simpler fish dishes. The Attaché is denser, richer, with more, although very well integrated new oak. It's a solid wine, whose density does not detract from its gracefulness.

2017 Maison l'Envoye Pinot Noir Two Messengers; Aroma: plump rather dense very sweet , heady rather dense, fullish; Mouth: smooth clean rounded fullish, nicely crisp, juicy & firm firm, Higher toned but soft; Very Good Plus 29.99; Mixed Case, 26.99; Case, 25.49

2014 Maison l'Envoye Pinot Noir The Attaché; Aroma: very dark, rather dense, full, heavy lightly aromatic oak, , lightly heady ; Mouth: juicy rather dense, bright acid,  clean, firm, dense, nice depth, bright acid rather clean, dense ; Very Very Good Plus 40; Mixed Case, 36; Case, 34

A Boutique Winery's Reserve Pinot at great price

We loved Collene Clemens reserve Margo Pinot Noir when we first tasted it a year or so ago. When we had the opportunity to buy some more at a reduced price we jumped on it. This is mature Willamette Pinot at a wonderful price.

2014 Colene Clemens Pinot Noir Margo; Color: light red black; Aroma: pretty, very intense on the attack, very concentrated, blackberry plump, resolves into linear, direct ; Mouth: clean very juicy & ripe pretty & lifted , lithe and quick, long ,leaves an almost sweet impression on the finish; Very Good PlusWas $37 Now, 29.99; Mixed Case, 26.99; Case, 25.49

Great deal on a Willamette Classic 

In January we offered to taste the can write Pinot to a very good reception from the tasters at a reduced price. We were able to get a few cases more and even more reduced price for this tasting. It is classic single vineyard Pinot from a master, drinkable now with some airing will, but will improve at least five years more years in the cellar.

2016 Ken Wright Pinot Noir Savoya; Aroma: spicy wood, very heady, rich intense, spicy & rich, very concentrated; Mouth: thick to the palate, nicely extracted with fine wood notes, thick finish wood with some wood tannins; Very Good - Excellent  Was 49; Mixed Case, 44.1; Special Case of 6 39.99

A Fine Burgundy 1er Cru Hiding in Plain Slope

Burgundy is the epitome of expressive, sensual Pinot Noir. There the village of Blagny lies astride some of the Cote de Beaune's finest premier cru vineyards but it is unknown even to many lovers of red Burgundy. The reason? The vineyards that surround it are mainly white - the town's white wines are labeled Puligny or Meursault. There is only a small amount of red Blagny and it is very fine indeed. We were able to get a couple of cases of Thierry Matrot's very fine 1er cru 2016 Blagny La Piece Sous Le Bois at an incredibly low price considering the Burgundy price levels. Approachable now, it will get better over the next few years. Our price is as best we can tell, the best in the country.

2016 Matrot Blagny La Piece Sous La Bois

Neal Martin, Vinous “a gorgeous, beautifully defined bouquet with brambly red fruit, mulberry, faint seashell scents and a touch of pot pourri. This is very complex. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, supple and beautifully focused with real weight and density towards the finish, allied with unerring elegance that does this appellation proud.

William Kelly Wine Advocate – “wafting from the glass with aromas of sweet cherries, redcurrant, candied peel and warm spices. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, with the chalky tannins and tangy acids that distinguish this site, concluding with a saline, mineral finish.”

 Was $90 , Now $59 Net 2 cases only

3-4 Cool Pinot Case 2 each of the above wines $399

3-4 Cool Pinot Pack 1 each of the above wines $215

Or Mix any 12 for 15% off

Any 6 for 10% off

(Blagny can mix but does not discount)


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           - Len Rothenberg