Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

West Coast Grace - A Tale of Two Tastings

"You outdid yourselves with these wines," said one taster.
August 17, 2022


"You outdid yourselves with these wines," said one taster.

"A group of winners," said another.

But those were people who came to the tasting later on. Although we opened the wines hours in advance, early tasters did not get much from most wines. The  Samsara Chardonnay and Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir were exceptions. They showed well out of the gate. The Pinot was an immediate favorite and was throughout the tasting. The single vineyard 2015 Samsara Pinot Noir Rancho La Vina took its time to open but did so very nicely

The cabernet-based wines did not really come into their own until the tasting's end. (some were even better a day or two later, which bodes well for their ageability)

They showed themselves not as blockbusters but as wines of elegance and finesse. 

 People loved the poise of the Laurel Glen Counterpoint and Estate Cabernet. One taster thought that she didn't like the cabernet of the excess of oak and extraction in most she had. She felt the Estate's balance between structure and delicate fruit was wonderful.

The Rasa Occam's Razor, a Washington State price-friendly four-grape blend, showed more immediate fruit. People thought that it was very good value for the money. Some thought the Rasa QED Cabernet Franc to be extraordinary. It was closer to a Loire rendition of the grape, clean with the fine edge of cooler climate Franc., withjust a touch of cocoa on its dusty midpalate.

Fans of Syrah loved the 2016 Rasa Syrah Veritas Sequitur. It was no Shiraz, no juicy fruity California version, but an extraordinarily elegant and precise rendition of the grape, more akin to a dark fruit-infused northern Rhone version. It was dark and beautiful and quintessential pure Syrah, which is precisely why some less familiar with the grape did not like it. It will age very nicely for another ten years.



2019 Samsara ChardonnayOrganic; Aroma:  rich, very dense, soft, relatively rich, very heady; Mouth: Rich creamy,  fat rich, concentrated, a green apple note, long sweet finish; Very Good - Excellent 48 Case, 41



2018 Samsara Pinot Noir; Color: Medium dark; Aroma: Soft rasher spicy, clean, lifted rounded fruit, soft perfume reserved; Mouth: Savory, delicate, finely wrought, elegant, pretty nicely lifted, clean & precise; Very Good - Excellent40; Case, 34

2015 Samsara Pinot Noir Rancho La Vina; Color: medium dark; Aroma: Clean, pretty, richly fruited, plump, delicate with richness; Mouth: Very pure dark current elevated, sweetly rich but weightless, poised; Excellent 66; Case, 56

2018 Rasa Occam's Razor; Color: Medium dark black; Aroma: Soft  heady, reserved; Mouth: Sweetly intense, complex and herbal, a nutty quality, sweetness on the finish, very long; Very Good Plus 26.99; Case, 22.99

2018 Rasa QED Choice Function; Color: medium dark; Aroma: Fresh, lightly fresh, very pretty lifted, in a lifted style very pretty, light & lifted; Mouth: Very pretty, sift textured nicely rounded, delicate very pretty & nuanced, a ballerina of a Cab Franc; Excellent 45; Case, 38.25

2018 Laurel Glen CounterpointOrganic; Aroma: Very fine reserved, clean, heady, slightly minty, fresh, clean; Mouth: Very pretty, rounded, fresh, juicy, very pretty, less extracted, succulent, long, precise; Very Good - Excellent 59; Case, 49

2015 Laurel Glen Cabernet Sauvignon - Organic; Color: Very dark; Aroma: Dense some well-integrated opal, rounded fruit, pretty; Mouth: Smooth texture, herbal, very precise, nutty, very pretty delicate, long, a lightly crafted, elegant rendition of cabernet; Excellent 89; Case, 76

2016 Rasa Syrah Veritas Sequitur; Aroma: Heady sweet delicate, very pretty, very modulated, soft white bacon, lovely; Mouth: Absolutely lovely, smooth, a vin du reve, poised and beautiful, an Impressionist Syrah; Outstanding 129; Case 110


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           - Len Rothenberg




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