Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

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Real Italian Whites - ABPG: Anything But Pinot Grigio

Peter writes, "Last week we proved to everyone that “Anything but Pinot Grigio” is a good theme for a tasting. We found out that they really do make great white wine in Italy and that these wines are really different from each other."
July 31, 2019


He continues,

We also learned that some of them are unique. Some tasters hit on each wine not only as a a favorite but a flag waving favorite.

         We began with the 2016 Albino Rocca La Rocca Cortese. This was richly flavored and balanced with nice citrus note. Bill S said it had a “racy” finish. This is actually from a small single vineyard in Barbaresco where the Rocca family found a plot of land they thought would be perfect for white grapes. They were right.

         Next the 2017 Tornatore Etna Bianco was also richly flavored with a package of sweet herbs thrown in that was too unusual for some: others raved about it. There has been a ton of publicity about the Etna reds in the past ten years or so. I am finding producers who are just as excited about the whites such as these made from Carrricante

         The 2016 Jankara Vermentino di Galluraseemed to please everyone with its rich nutty fruit and touch of salinity. Of last week’s wines, Vermentino planted in the most places. The Jankara is from Sardinia. The grape is also grown in Tuscany, Corsica, Liguria and southern France. Valentina, our resident Italiana, went nuts over this one. We followed this with the 2016 Librandi Efeso Val di Neto Bianco from the Mantonico grape,  only grown in Calabria. Librandi sends this one here here just for us. The wine is layered and textured with some unique notes. This got a lot of favorite votes and, by the way, also goes well with spicy cuisine.

         We then opened the 2016 Montenidoli Vernaccia di San Gimignano Fiore.  Most tasters had at least heard of Vernaccia. We made it better by showing them the most elegant Vernaccia made. Elisabetta Faciuoli is an amazing woman who makes amazing wine. This is one of Seth’s favorite white wines in the world. Speaking of elegant we wrapped things up with the 2015 Cotarella Ferentano. From the only Roscetto grape vineyard left on the planet. Riccardo Cotarella decided it was well worth saving on his property in Lazio. Another unique wine and very interesting, it showed depth and complexity. Len found it  it was precise and on point.

         I would say that this is certainly one of the better tastings we have done since the wines all showed so well. It was also very much a learning experience.



2016 Albino Rocca La Rocca Cortese: Apple and honeydew  with a touch of lemon zest Fresh acidity with notes of almond in the finish.  Very Good Plus to Excellent  31/bottle 27.90/mixed case  26.35/case

2017 Tornatore Etna Bianco: Green apple and mineral with balsam notes, crisp acidity and depth.  Excellent   26.99/bottle 24.30/mixed case  22.95/case

2016 Jankara Vermentino di Gallura:   Pear, peach, lime and grapefruit Salinity and almond in the finish.  Very Good Plus to Excellent  27.99/bottle  25.20/mixed case  23.80/case

2016 Librandi Efeso Val di Neto Bianco:  Peach, apricot, flint and saffron with excellent acidity and texture.  Excellent  26.99/bottle  24.30/mixed case22.95/case

2016 Montenidoli Vernaccia di San Gimignano Fiore:  Elegant and rich with beautiful secondary aromas. Bright crisp citrus, apple and peach with a refreshing bitter note capped by salinity.  Excellent  24.99/bottle  22.50/mixed case  21.25/case

2015 Cotarella Ferentano:  Tropical fruit and fresh herbs with lush full bodied flavors. Depth, texture, and complexity.  Excellent   29.99/bottle  27/mixed case 25.50/case


7/30 ABPG Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $286

Instore only 7/30 ABPG Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $152

mix any 6- 11 above 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!


           - Peter Hemenway