Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

Reasonably Priced Autumnal Wines

It's Getting Cooler...
October 26, 2022


Two Savory Whites


Pinot Gris, Spiced Up (Pumpkins not involved)

Evesham Woods makes some stunning Willamette pinot Noirs, but they hit a double with this wine Pinot Gris in its base, spiced and enlivened with Gewurztraminer. It's a happy and tasty marriage that delights the palate. Aromatic and lifted, it starts fruity and finishes a touch sweet. ‘Dry Well White’ does nothing to describe the wine's pleasure

2021 Evesham Wood Blanc du Puits Sec; Aroma: Pretty rather ripe firm; Mouth: Bright, clean spicy & fleshy, very savory, full on the palate; Very Good Plus $24.99; Case, $21.24



The Marsanne grape comes from the northern Rhone, where it is the base of white Hermitage, one of the world's most monumental. There it can be both dusty and creamy. From Hermitage on down, it's always full in the mouth. Julien Pilon's fancifully named Bruit des Vagues, Sound of the Waves, is one of the more balanced and expressive we've found at a reasonable price. It nicely balances this grape's breadth and fullness with a vivacious acid note that lifts the wine at its finish

2020 Julien Pilon Marsanne Bruit des Vagues; Aroma: flinty soft and herbal, nutty, firm, herbal, light ginger; Mouth: juicy flint and dryness, ripe, clean, strong and lifted; Very Good Plus $23.99; Case, $19.99    


Four Eclectic Reds

Volcanic, Fresh’ and Mature

Giovanni and son Alessandro Valenti own and run the Cantine Valenti estate at high elevation on Mount Etna in Sicily. The 2015 Valenti Etna Rosso Norma is 100% native Etna Narello Mascalese. Most of the estate vines are grown in the Guardiola Contrada and are 50 to 100 years old. The Valentis are huge fans of literature and opera. In the case of this wine, “Norma” is the famous opera by Bellini.

2015 Valenti Etna Rosso Norma: Subtle and expressive with a floral minerality. Notes of cherry and spice with a beautiful soft texture framed by supple tannins. Very Good to Excellent 21/bottle, Case, $17.99

Fine-ness … with fruit

Morgon has become the most popular of the Beaujolais crus these days, I think because it has an appetizing line of acid and stone that give it a distinguished nobility of terroir but makes most Morgons as hard and unforgiving when young as they can be delicious after 10 or 20 years

Burgaud's 2021 bottling from his Le Cras vineyard sheathes Morgon's strikingly firm base ≈ with generous dark Gamay fruit. Drink it now, bistro-style as the French do, with burgers or sausage - It can even take on a steak- or put it away for a few years to see how nicely good Gamay can develop.

2021 Burgaud Morgon Grands Cras; Mouth: Heady, very rich, intense leathery clean light, bright and forward and fresh, very nice drive. Very Good Plus $23.99; Case, $19.99

A Mature Bordeaux Inflation Resistor

Many people ordered this smooth, elegant Medoc when we offered it two years ago. Two years in the bottle have matured it nicely. We can offer it at the same price, inflation be damned. If you want mature claret at a reasonable price, don't miss this one

2016 Ch Haut Queyran (Medoc); Color: very dark, dense; Aroma: very aromatic, plummy, pretty, lifted a good pipe tobacco note; Mouth: clean, juicy bright fruit, rounded good structure, nice richness, finely herbal on the finish; Very Good Plus $21.99; Case, $18.99

A Modest Cabernet That Hung with its Betters

This cabernet caught our notice because it held its own in a blind tasting with others two to three times its price. The grapes come from a stony hillside, the Stonestreet estate in Sonoma's

 Alexander Valley. It shows its volcanic soil nicely overlaid with a smooth, dark, currant fruit 

2017 Jackson Estate Cabernet Sauvignon; Color: very dark, almost black; Aroma: reserved crisp, stony, bright flinty acid over er fruit; Mouth: clean, lightly oaked, fresh acidity, finely grained tannins, long high toned, smooth texture, not too heavy on the palate, very nice composition and balance; Very Good - Excellent $23.99; Case, $19.99


The Autumn Case, Two each if the wines $235

Or make your own -any twelve or more of these wines at their case prices


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




downtown on orders more than $75;

in Greater Boston on orders more than $199