Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

A Surprise Favorite

And Good Deals on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
January 29, 2020


Robin put her nose to the glass and took a sniff. Her eyes widened in surprise and pleasure with a touch perhaps of wonder. She inhaled the aroma a second time, tasted and smiled. “This is very good.” she said.

And then Bob and Ilhan, nearly everybody thereafter expressed much the same thing. It was the reaction we live for. The wine was 2016 Maxime Graillot Crozes Hermitage Domaine des Lises, and the reason was obvious. It opened with the hauntingly inviting aroma of white pepper accented violet and currant that you find in Syrah from the Northern Rhône. On the palate it was smooth as flowing silk, in texture more like a Pinot Noir or cru Beaujolais. Just one curmudgeon growled "too polished." Too much of a good thing perhaps?


Needless to say we sold out at the tasting, but were able to get a few cases more. It is an intrguingly lovely wine. Try it before it is gone.


People thought that the 2016 Mikulski Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay was a good serviceable dry and characteristic white Burgundy. The 2015 Camille Giroud Auxey Duresses Blanc was a different animal. We tasted a bottle that had been open for a day and was showing much more complexity and tension between mineral and fruit then it had when I first made my notes below. A subsequent bottle that I took to a dinner was decanted an hour or two before serving. It was gloriously complex then.


The 2016 WWe Dr. Thanisch Erben Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Spatlese was a little too semisweet for most tasters preference but lovers of the older style of most the wines thought it was quite good.


The Other Reds:


We showed two versions of 2016 Francois Mikulski Bourgogne Pinot Noir. A bottle opened just before the tasting showed more black fruit but was also tight and closed. Surprising for a simple Bourgogne a bottle that had been opened for 30 hours had developed some light nuance and even a bit of secondary characteristic. Everyone preferred it. We have a case left.


People also liked the two Ken Wright Pinots, which we also showed a day and a half open The Carter vineyard was the more opulent of the two and has sold out. The Savoya vineyard bottling had an interesting evolution over the day and a half. It was initially tight and very closed then open a few hours showed a bit disjoint, but after a day had an intriguing greater degree of complexity than the Carter vineyard. That betokens a good life ahead.


The 2015 Nieto-Senetiner Bonarda was a nice fresh and fruity pizza / burger wine. It is very good for the price, but was not in the same league in comparison with the others.


How it works: we have bottles to five cases of these wines, You can order them by phone or email.


Take 15% off for any combination of 6 to 11 bottles of the wines below; 20% off any 12 or more.

Some wines have an even further discount for solid cases




A textured and versatile white from Friuli’s oldest grape variety

2018 Gradis’Ciutta Ribolla Gialla: Bright straw yellow. Citrus, peach, apples and flowers with a creamy texture and crisp clean finish. Very Good Plus

21.99 , any 6-11 bottles 20.89, any 12 or more 17.59, only bottles left


Succulent nuanced semisweet Riesling from a very good producer

2016 WWe Dr. Thanisch Erben Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Spatlese; Aroma: elegant, fine mineral  , heady full, ripe fruit, , mineral edge; Mouth: semisweet very light on its feet clean herbal, fine acid, sweet clean, long; Very Good Plus

Was 31 Now 24.99 , any 6-11 bottles 23.74, any 12 or more 19.99


Textured grower burgundy from just outside Meursault

2016 Mikulski Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay; Aroma: fresh green apple, crisp, bright apple; Mouth: fleshy bright clean a touch of Meursault, nicely crisp, with thickened oak texture  clean firm mineral finish, good length; Very Good Plus

Was $29 Now 25.99 , any 6-11 bottles 24.69, any 12 or more 20.79

Even lower price:19.99 by the case of 12


A crisp dry wine mineral whiite burgundy from a ripe vintage

2015 Camille Giroud Auxey Duresses Blanc; Aroma: deep oak, leavened with green apple brightness, aromatic; Mouth: medium bodied, rather firm acidity crisp finely defined, precise delineated; Very Good to Excellent

Alan Meadows A whiff of wood easily allows the fresh green fruit and citrus-suffused aromas to be appreciated. There is once again good volume to the full-bodied and succulent flavors that exude a subtle minerality on the nicely clean, dry and more persistent finish Was 47 Now  37.99 , any 6-11 bottles

 32.29 any 12 or more 30.39

Even lower price :28.99 by the case of 12




A juicy all-purpose red from Argentina’s other great grape

2015 Nieto-Senetiner Bonarda; Color: Very dark; Aroma: Heady sweet ripe rather clean; Mouth: Fine spiced plum rather pretty nicely rounded fruit juicy, good structure; Very Good

Was $18, Now11.99 any 6-11 bottles 11.39, any 12 or more 9.59

Even lower price:8.99 by the case of 12


Finely delineated old Vine Cote de Beaune Red

2016 Francois Mikulski Bourgogne Pinot Noir; Aroma: light fresh, rather pretty, clean, , blackberry leather notes; Mouth: clean very pretty  fine acid, light cranberry inflected pure fruit, ; Very Good Plus

Alan Meadows “An exuberantly fresh nose features a ripe array of various red berries, plum and earth. There is fine richness to the round and attractively textured flavors that possess much better than average density compared to the average example of the genre, all wrapped in a slightly rustic finale that offers very fine depth and persistence.”

Was 29 Now 25.99 , any 6-11 bottles 24.69, any 12 or more 20.79

Even lower price:19.99 by the case of 12 Very limited


As pretty and ripe Northern Rhone Syrah from a famous family

2016 Maxime Graillot Crozes Hermitage Domaine des Lises; Aroma: Modulated bacon subdued & harmonious, very pure; Mouth: Light clean fresh very pretty Syrah from eacd clean and focussed,, flows light and pure over the palate; Very Good Plus

Was $32 Now 25.99 , any 6-11 bottles 24.69, any 12 or more 20.79

Even lower price:19.99 by the case of 12


Rare discount on one of Willamette Valley’s iconic single vineyard wines deep and age worthy

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 $72 Now 54 , any 6-11 bottles 51.3, any 12 or more 43.20

Even lower price:$39.99 by the case of 6


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