Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

Favorites for under $20

As a group, last week's wines had some shared character. First, they all have a lot of value for money. Second, they all are wines meant to be served with food.
January 11, 2012

Peter writes;

When that occurs we always ask our tasters to do the work of imagining the food.

We began with the 2006 Michel Picard Mercurey Blanc 1er Cru Clos Paradis. This is a lighter style Chardonnay with a subtle finesse. Once again we find that it is the more dramatic wines that gain the most notice. Several tasters remarked, though, on how pleasant this would be throughout the meal.

The second white was the 2010 Elena Walch Gewurztraminer. This showed the floral and quince notes of the variety in, again, a subtle style which surprised a lot of people. This one got many, many positive comments.

The 2010 La Spinetta Toscana Vermentino showed a bit more drama in its rich fruit. The defining characteristic is the intense minerality and structure. For some, this is not their type while for others it was the favorite.

We began the reds with the most challenging wine of the evening. The 2008 Capanna Rosso di Montalcino displayed a thoroughly old world style along with the brisk acidity that is found in the 2008 vintage. The aromas were very nice and enticing while the palate’s structure begged for a steak.

The 2005 La Rioja Alta Reserva Vina Alberdi showed the side of Tempranillo which is medium bodied with great complexity and all the balance of the vintage. This one has enough age to be approachable and was very well liked.

The favorite of the reds was the 2007 Villa Erbice Valpolicella Superiore Monte Tombole. It is both richly flavored and approachable and shows great balance between fruit and structure.

One of the reasons that wine becomes a lifelong interest for us is all the new things we experience in our journey. Many tasters remarked that they really enjoyed learning something new last week.


2006 Michel Picard Mercurey Blanc Clos Paradis: Color: Light gold; Aroma; light appley notes with soft wood accents. Mouth: soft mellowed very well integrated soft fruit and wood notes Very Good Plus Special: 23.99; Mixed Case, 21.59; Case, 20.39

2010 Elena Walch Gewurztraminer: Straw yellow. Roses, quince and baking spices on the nose. Light, dry balanced flavors of mango, spice, flowers and a touch of honey. Very balanced finish. Very Good Plus 21.00/bottle 18.90/mixed case 17.85/case

2010 La Spinetta Toscana Vermentino: Light golden straw. Citrus, pine and mineral aromas. Flowers and fruits, fresh peach and lime with crisp balancing acidity. Very Good Plus 21.99/bottle 19.79/mixed case 18.69/case


2008 Capanna Rosso di Montalcino: Bright ruby. Red cherry, herb, tobacco and spice. Medium bodied with ripe fruit and spice, elegant acidity and velvety tannins. Very Good Plus 23.99/bottle 21.59/mixed case 20.39/case

2005 La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Rioja Reserva: Crimson. Red fruits, tobacco, earth and spice aromas. Medium bodied, ample red fruits, lots of finesse and a long balanced finish. Very Good Plus 21.99/bottle 19.79/mixed case 18.69/case

2007 Villa Erbice Valpolicella Superiore Monte Tombole: Bright red. Marasca, cherry and plum fruit, white pepper and cinnamon. rich flavors, balanced and harmonious, balanced structure. Very Good Plus 22.99/bottle 20.69/mixed case 19.54/case

1-11 Great 20 Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $232

Instore only 1-11 Great 20 Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $123



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