Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read what our customers thought

This Week's Tasting

Six Favorites from Last Year
January 11, 2017

Wines We (and You) Loved.

Wines We (and You) Loved




A Top 10 but 1

2015 Hamilton Russell Chardonnay

The Wine Spectator's Top 100 list usually recognizes good wines, but their order defies any understanding. Nonetheless we were happy to that they [laced Anthony Hamilton-Russell's great 2015 Chardonnay as #11. His wines have been getting better and better in the over 20 years we have offered them, with the 2015 being the best yet. A rich cross between burgundy and Sonoma.

2015 Hamilton Russell Chardonnay  Very Good - Excellent 35; Mixed Case, 31.5; Case, 29.75




Precise Perfection in Pinot

2014 A. F. Nichols Pinot Noir

You won't find Andrew Nichols' hand crafted wines in the Wine Spectator. There is too little made of his handcrafted wines for a national publication to be aware of

His day job is oenologist for Argyle wines, but he makes just a few hundred cases of Pinot under his own label. A F Nichols wines are most un-Argyle like. Where Argyles tend to big and bold, the Nichols Pinots are of finesse and precision, the essence of Willamette Pinot Noir.

 I was struck by the wines' linear purity and restrained elegance. In the good 2014 vintage vintages, they were crystalline-pure, soft acids playing off dry strawberry-inflected fruit.

2014 A. F. Nichols Pinot Noir; Aroma: deeper plummy, a touch herbal, ; Mouth: plummy ripe fruit ripe clean fresh, sweet, crisp on the finish; Very Good Plus  27.99; Mixed Case, 25.19; Case, 23.79

An Ancient Culture Revived

2014 Masseria Li Veli Susumaniello

Masseria Li Veli is the winery of the Falvo family who left Tuscany and returned to their roots in Apulia. They immediately launched the Askos project with which they are reviving a few of the excellent ancient Puglian grape varieties that were almost lost over the course of the dramatic history of the area. When the vines get old enough, Susumaniello is a grape variety that yields wines of intense character and attractiveness. The 2014 Masseria Li Veli  Susumaniello is a prime example.

2014 Masseria Li Veli  Susumaniello:  Deep ruby red. Complex aromatics with raspberry, cherry and blackcurrant framed by licorice, spice and leather. Rich palate balanced by fine tannins. Long finish with freshness and just the right touch of acidity.  Very Good Plus to Excellent   21; Mixed Case, 18.9; Case, 17.85

A Richer Valpolicella

2011 Monte del Fra Valpolicella Classico Superiore Lena di Mezzo Ripasso

Ripasso is a style of wine produced to enhance the richness of Valpolicella without going to the sort of extreme of Amarone. The 2011 Monte del Fra Valpolicella Classico Superiore Lena di Mezzo Ripasso is also from a single vineyard in Fumane. Lena di Mezzo is a beautiful terraced estate. This wine is a classic example of the Ripasso style made to go with richer meat dishes.

2011 Monte del Fra Valpolicella Classico Superiore Lena di Mezzo Ripasso: cherries, plums, licorice, pepper and cinnamon with balsam notes. Great purity of fruit and clean flavors. long finish. Very Good to Excellent  25.99; Mixed Case, 23.39; Case, 22.09

A Pleasure from Oz

2013 Hewitson Miss Harry GSM

Dean Hewitson made quite an impression when he did a tasting here. His GSM which stands for Grenache Syrah Mourvedre, the Aussie interpretation of Cotes du Rhone made an equally strong one when we presented it at a dinner last fall. It is very pretty, rather refined for Barossa and perfectly spiced and balanced for winter stews and roasts.

2013 Hewitson Miss Harry GSM; Aroma: heady rather pretty, finely delineated, juicy rich ; Mouth: Juicy dark toned rich very dense thick rather juicy, clean racy, long; Very Good Plus 21; Mixed Case, 18.9; Case, 17.85


1-11 Favorites Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $274

1-11 Favorites Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $145


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. 2016