Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Michelin Two Star Pinot Noir at an Everyday Price

2015 Alit Willamette Pinot Noir
April 17, 2020


Chapter 24

People often ask us for wines they have had in a restaurant. We can't oblige when they are select cuvees crafted for top-end restaurants. Until now, when most are closed and these special blends have nowhere to go.

Chapter 24, the Willamette Pinot Noir estate, makes their Alit Pinot Noir with selected barrels that did not go into their extraordinary Rose & Arrow single vineyard and Last Chapter bottlings. They label it white on white to complement the white tablecloths of the New York  Michelin two star restaurant singled out for it its wine list and others like it.

Some went to the high-end steakhouse and Italian restaurant at the Encore Casino. It can no longer, so we were offered it exclusively

We look gift horses in in the mouth and demanded a bottle to try. It lived up to expectations. It was wonderfully complexand reflected the wine style of consultant-partner Louis-Michel Liger-Belair with two differences. A bit of carbonic maceration gives it a fresh fruit affect which is complemented  by some whole clusters in the fermentation which gave snap, what the English call grip.

It a shape-shifter in the glass, given a little air. An intense purple fruit gives way to a creamy broad warmth you get in ripe Côte de Nuits not from the moderate 13.3% alcohol. It then shows mineral edged with wood and finishes with that firm grip. 2015 Alit is more of drive than clarity 

Owner Mark Tarlov says that he was aiming for a Tuesday night wine. What he made was more complex, one that for most of us will do quite nicely Saturday night.

It is traditionally Burgundian in style but not in flavor, because  the informing stone here is basalt not limestone. If one were to imagine Burgundy’s terroir  as akin to high edge of thyme, the basalt in Alit is more like sage.

I've left the second best part for last. The restaurants charged $20-$24 a glass, three digits the bottle. We negotiated a price to get it to $16.99 a bottle by the case for you. This is a lot of complexity and depth for less even than a Tuesday night price. There is no Pinot Noir anywhere near it in quality for that. 


2015 Alit Pinot NoirOrganic; Aroma: heady & full, bright clean fruit, , warm and rich; Mouth: smoot textured, warm a fine mineral edge, very nice minerality in the back. good acid, warm and smooth, with a sweet bright acid edge; Very Good - Excellent 19.99; Mixed Case, 17.99; Case,  203.88 (16.99)


Order by phone at 617.367.8605, or reserve here: order@federalwine.com


           - Len Rothenberg