Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

This Week's Tasting

September 28, 2022

Great Southern Hemisphere Values - "...I thought I was tasting moderate to expensive wines, but they were so inexpensive that we had to offer them to you."


Wine Tasters

Federal WineLine

Wednesday, September 28, 5 - 6:30

South Africa(& one Argentine) Values


Coming Winemaker Visits

Deux Roches White Burgundies Tuesday 10/11

John Duval, one of Australia's best Tuesday 10/18

Giorgio Rivetti in person Wed 11/2



Len writes,

When I audition wines for the store, I don't want to know their prices until after I've tasted their quality. Too often, the price reveal is disappointing. I had the happy opposite when I tried an array from South Africa. I thought I was tasting moderate to expensive wines, but they were so inexpensive that we had to offer them to you.

They were not showy and extracted; they impressed for a poise and balance that made them more satisfying than many of their higher-priced peers. All are great values at prices that make them great for everyday drinking.

I loved two from MAN Vintners in Stellenbosch. Their lightly graceful Sauvignon Blanc has lilt and appetizing freshness. Pinotage is virtually unique to South Africa but has developed due to mishandling a bad reputation internationally. MAN's is fresh fruity, and spicy, like a spice Rhone or Zinfandel, a great expression of the grape.

Chenin Blanc has a centuries-long history in South Africa, where it has been grown for centuries. The Lievlandrendition is Loire valley graceful, lifted, and fresh with very pretty fruit and a nice balancing acidity and minerality.

I couldn't resist putting one odd one in. Argentina is famous for Malbec, but good wineries do a great job with poised Cabernet Franc. Zuccardi Q is very impressive. It expresses Cabernet Franc's heady and savory spice along with a sweet ripeness and almost Old World elegance.

Rudger Van Wyk, the winemaker at the Stark Conde, fell in love with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay after a stage at a small Burgundy estate. He sources grapes for his own Kara Tara label from several warmer and cooler South African regions. From them, he makes an impressive chardonnay and Pinot Noir that have a Burgundian grace with richer New World flavors. Both are very lightly oaked and wonderfully pure and balanced.



2021 MAN Sauvignon Blanc; Aroma: Heady, rich, intense, heady  lush, smoky; Mouth: Sweet, bright, clean, firm, ripe fruit on the finish; Very Good Plus 12.99; Case, 10.99

2020 Kara Tara Chardonnay; Aroma: Light clean, fresh, lifted, and pure, very clean, very pure and lifted; Very Good - Excellent 21.99; Case, 18.99

2021 Lievland Chenin Blanc; Aroma: Fresh lifted, light flint, floral; Mouth:  rich, fleshy, juicy, intense, clean, rounded restrained fruit, a touch of citrus; Very Good Plus 19.99; Case, 16.99



2020 Kara Tara Pinot Noir; Aroma: Very heady rich, intense, heady breather Dense fruit; Mouth: Dark silky and dense, good acidity, herbal  fine, dark plum fruit; Very Good - Excellent 21.99; Mixed Case, 19.79; Case, 18.99

2019 MAN Pinotage; Color: Berry dark black; Aroma: Light spice, cherry, and tannin, rich and dense; Mouth: Sweet intense, very bright clean, intense, bright acid forwards a little hot, but spoilt y and rounded forward and intense; Very Good Plus 12.99; Case, 10.99

2018 Zuccardi Cabernet Franc Series Q Mendoza); Aroma: Light ethereal, wisps of finely delineated Franc; Mouth: Right clean, fresh, intense juicy, bright acid, smooth; Very Good Plus 19.99; Case, 16.99


Southern Values Case, two bottles of each wine $189

Or make your own; mix any 12 or more at their case price

(Orders less than $189 may incur a delivery charge)


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




downtown on orders more than $75;

in Greater Boston on orders more than $199