Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

Full on the Palate, Light on the Wallet

Last week's wines had strong characters, which led to diverse opinions.
June 5, 2019


People reported that the wines had quality and character better than their prices. The proof was in the purchases.

By a nose, resoundingly backed up by its low price, the 2017 Domaine St. Peyre Picpoul de Pinetbeat out a wine that was in the tasting, unannounced. People thought it a perfect deck wine, no “lip stinger”, but a pleasantly fleshy mildly piquant creamy texture that is all agreed would be delightful.

Barely behind it came an un-announced wine the Midoir Pouilly Fume also great value. Kudos to taster Mike O who volunteered to try it without knowing what it was and identified it as a Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc. Only a mile off. Not bad. So much was bought that it is virtually sold out 

The Domaine Cassagnoles Cotes de Gascogne was intriguing but outside most people’s comfort zone. It had strong flavors of citrus and lime, herbs, a bit too much for most.

The most popular red was the 2017 Dom des Chesnaies Bourgueil, which was a classic Cabernet Franc. At the start it tended to the rough and ready; by the end of the tasting people liked it for its smooth rather finely delineated Cab franc flavors. Either version is a winner.

Just behind it in purchases was the Domaine de Somail’ 2017 Le Vin de Plume, alluring through its depth and reticence, more evocative, more elegant, rather fresh, again rich at the beginning, composed and smooth at the end with Its Mourvedre shining through. Last weekend the Wine Advocate came out with a rave review calling it “one of the more interesting wines I tasted from Minervois this year.”

The 2015 Allamand Malbec was clean and direct but fell in the shadow of the Bourgueil, direct, firm, and direct but not so vigorous It was rather fine elegant, more focused than most Malbecs at its price. People thought the 2016 Barone Cornacchia Montepulciano d’Abruzzo had rather hard tannins; it needs time in the glass or bottle



2017 Domaine St. Peyre Picpoul de Pinet; Color: pale straw gold; Aroma: lightly heady , a touch of green herb; Mouth: fleshy, round and soft, firm nicely soft a fleshy mid palate, with a touch of lemon, crisp acidity on the finish; Very Good 10.99; Mixed Case, 9.89; Case, 9.34

2017 Domaine Cassagnoles Cotes de Gascogne Cuvee Gros Manseng; Aroma: heady, dense smoky, clean rather firm; Very Good Plus 12.99; Mixed Case, 11.69; Case, 11.04



2017 Dom des Chesnaies (Boucard) Bourgueil Cuvee des Chesnais; Color: medium dark, opaque; Aroma: pretty, heady sweet rather intense, dense sweet ripe fruit, full, ; Mouth: clean rather fine, smooth, herbal deep, sweet acid finish, rather long; Very Good 12.99; Mixed Case, 11.69; Case, 11.04

2015 Allamand Malbec; Aroma: spicy a little funky, rather clean very fine delineated, Malbec plum spice; Mouth: juicy rather tight smooth herbal, clean fine acid smooth, quintessential Malbec; Very Good 14.99; Mixed Case, 13.49; Case, 12.74

2016 Barone Cornacchia Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Casanova: Organic The wine displays full body, substantial tannin and dances between generosity and elegance and freshness. Very Good Plus12.99/bottle 11.69/mixed case 11.04/case

2017 Domaine de Somail Minervois Le Vin de Plume- Organic- Biodynamic; Aroma: sweet dense heady rather rich &oaky, purple, very dense, reserved; Very Good Plus 14.99; Mixed Case, 13.49; Case, 12.74


Full but Light Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $137

Instore only Full but Light Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $72

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