Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

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This Week's Tasting:

Favorite Wines at $20
January 11, 2012

One of the great experiences of life is a good meal with good people and a completely satisfying wine. The experience is even better if the wine in question doesn't cost more than about twenty dollars.

Capanna Winery

Peter writes;

Tonight, we will taste some of our favorite wines that fit the bill.

First up is a wine you are not supposed to be able to find this price range. Len has come up with the seriously good 2006 Michel Picard Mercurey Blanc Clos Paradis. This is Chardonnay as it should be, dry with complexity and a little bottle age. We have five cases.

Next will be the classically aromatic 2010 Elena Walch Gewurztraminer. Elena’s vineyards are in the high hills of Alto Adige where Gewurztraminer is from originally. It is a real puzzle to all of us why more people are not looking for wines made with this grape. It is also a real puzzle to me why food writers are always saying that Gewurztraminer should be served with spicy food. In my experience a good dry gewurz is best with seafood, particularly sole or cod.

Vermentino is a grape variety grown in three parts of Italy. In the north you will find it in Cinque Terra in Liguria. In the south you will find it in Sardinia. In between, in Tuscany, you will find tonight’s offering, the 2010 La Spinetta Toscana Vermentino. The wine exhibits real depth and a fine minerality. This also goes with seafood and grilled poultry can make the menu as well.

We will begin the reds with the classic 2008 Capanna Rosso di Montalcino. Benito Cencioni and his family run this fine property north of Montalcino in a strictly traditional way. This is all class and elegance with fine red cherry fruit and balance. Think steak.

One of our customers favorites for the holiday season was the 2005 La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Rioja Reserva. This is 100% old vine Tempranillo from a great Rioja vintage. This one is stylistically suited to a rich dish like a beef stew.

The single vineyard 2007 Villa Erbice Valpolicella Superiore Monte Tombole is a wine we held back for a year before selling so that it would be ready to drink. It is really wonderful now with a pure core of cherry fruit balanced by spice and complexity. Risotto with rabbit would be the perfect choice, and just about any grilled meat.


Image above - Capanna Winery

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