Federal Wine & Spirits

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This Week's Tasting

Hablando Espanol: Rioja + Malbec
January 24, 2018

For many, many years the red wines of Rioja have been the favorite Spanish wines here in America. These wines combine a balanced medium body with complexity and texture. Plus they are aged for a while before release and are generally ready to drink when released. And they have always been great values.


Sierra Cantabria  


           Tonight we will be tasting wines from three historic producers in Rioja. Sierra Cantabria is located in a beautiful hilly spot between the Ebro river and the Sierra Cantabria mountains. The Eguren family is in their fifth generation producing classic yet innovative Rioja. The 2012 Sierra Cantabria Rioja Crianza is a great introduction to the style and class of this region. Next up will be Franco Espanolas which was founded as a collaboration between a Bordeaux company and a Spanish family back in 1890.

           The 2011 Franco Espanolas Bordon Rioja Reserva is the current release. Then we will move to the heart of Rioja Alta and Marques de Vargas. The 2010 Marques de Vargas Rioja Reserva, in addition to being a very satisfactory wine, also manages to impart a level of sophistication that is quite attractive.

          The Malbecs are their equal in quality at their prices. 

           Finca La Linda is a farm in Mendoza'a Higher altitude Lujan de Cuto. owned and made by the well known firm of Luigi Bosca . Its wines express the purity of the malbec. Quite simply it was the best expression we tasted at its price.

           Bodega Renacer is a boutique, modern and eco-friendly winery founded in Mendoza in 2004. The 2016 Bodega Renacer Malbec Punto Final is a rich complete expression with complex fruit aromas and flavors.

           Swiss-owned Finca Decero in Agrello, takes pride in growing grapes in its own Remolinos vineyardIts Malbec is a wine of a precision and definition uncommon in Argentina.



2012 Sierra Cantabria Rioja Crianza: Good fruit with a spicy, toasted edge. Well balanced and persistent with cherry, licorice and smooth tannins. Very Good Plus 18.99; Mixed Case, 17.09; Case, 16.14

2011 Franco Espanolas Bordon Rioja Reserva: Bright ruby. Full flavor with great balance of oak and fruit and textured tannins. Tart red cherry. Plum and pepper all make an appearance. Very Good to Excellent 22.99; Mixed Case, 20.69; Case, 19.54

2010 Marques de Vargas Rioja Reserva: Deep ruby. Wild strawberry and raspberry with bramble, licorice and savory spice. Notes of earthy plum and very good tannic structure. Very Good to Excellent  28.99; Mixed Case, 26.09; Case, 24.64

2014 Finca la Linda Malbec la Linda; Aroma: light clean fresh raher pretty, , very pretty, fresh , clean, light spice; Mouth: clean smooth rather fresh, juicy fine acid clean, , smooth clean juicy; Very Good 11.99; Mixed Case, 10.79; Case, 10.19

2016 Bodega Renacer Malbec Punto Final: Deep ruby, purple rim. Red and black currant, blackberry and plum, accented by pepper, clove and wood spice with hints of oaky vanilla. Very Good Plus   14.99; Mixed Case, 13.48; Case, 12.74

2014 Finca Decero Malbec Remolinos Vineyard; Aroma: vry fresh, pretty violets, nice intensity, very richly aromatic that incises more than hammers the nose; Mouth: smoothy very rich, sweet fruit, light fresh acidity, very clean lifted, long violet -inflected finish ; Very Good Plus 17.99; Mixed Case, 16.19; Case, 15.29


1-24 Rioja Malbec Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $196

Instore only 1-24 Rioja Malbec Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $104


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


(c) Federal Wine and Spirits Inc. 2018