DVLCIVS EX ASPERIS: 2018 Oddero Barolo

Sometimes people ask if I have ideas about which wines will become far more valuable in the future. I do have those ideas, but the secondary wine market is fickle, some wines seem to take off out of nowhere, and it's just not that interesting to spend much time thinking about which one will be next. I'd rather drink something fabulous and spend time telling you why you should buy it for a reasonable price, rather than speculate on speculation... but here I am today... I can't

Definition of Extraordinary: Ca' la Bionda Casal Vegri

We offered Ca' la Bionda's superlative Amarone Ravazzol last week, a wine that I love, and hold in the highest esteem, but something that I would not reach for on a regular basis. Today we offer their Casal Vegri, a wine that will handle a cheese pizza as deftly as a succulent rack of lamb, and something that I feel very lucky to be able to enjoy casually*. The Castellani family established their winery on the famed Ravazzol cru in 1902, and for four generations have made win

Red Champagne: Gerbais Coteaux Champenois

Still red wine is made in Champagne. You will not find a lot stateside, but they are here. Gerbais is one of our favorite growers in Champagne, and their bubbles are well worth seeking out, but they also make one of the best still wines we've had from Champagne, and at a reasonable price*. If you're into Pinot Noir**, you owe it to yourself to try a Coteaux Champenois at some point. Gerbais Coteaux Champenois 2019 - $55 This note is from 24 hours after opening with half the b

Superlative: Ca' la Bionda Ravazzol 2016

Straight to the point: this wine is one of the finest Italian wines we have ever offered. If you buy a 6-pack, we'll knock 15% off.... One of the first things I came to value in a wine was freshness. Time and time again, I would come across very well-made wines, sometimes quite expensive, that sacrificed freshness in the name of intensity. Jammy, cooked and dried fruit flavors can be utterly delightful, a beautiful note of prunes can take a wine to another dimension, but when

Old Vine Burgundy: Goisot Les Mazelots

If you're into Burgundy, you know that the world just can't get enough. Price and availability are going in opposite directions, and I think you can guess which way for each. Finding "value" is possible, but you have to look outside the big-name villages (Gevrey, Chambolle, Vosne...) and that's where we're headed today. The commune of Irancy is quite a bit north and west of the center of Pinot Noir production in Burgundy, sitting just south of Chablis in an area mostly known

A Tale of Two Lambruscos

Many of you will know the wine on the left. It is a popular sparkling wine chez C&C and we often tout it as a most versatile red wine. It has a few things going for it that make it such a friendly food wine: bubbles, low-ish abv (11%), and a touch of sweetness. It is easily one of Lambrusco's best wines, but then one must consider the wine on the right, which is a special selection from the same vineyard, and is only made in the best years. Both are made from the pampered vin

More Than Pink: RIPA

Many years back at Esprit du Vin, Keith and I had a short discussion about whether or not we should sell the unique pink wine of Lopez de Heredia. We knew we loved it, but it was a quirky little beast that was released at about 10 years old, and even the most experienced wine lovers had probably never tasted anything like it. At the time, it was around $25 and we went for it. How could we pass up the opportunity to introduce our friends, families and dear customers to such vi

For the Cellar: Cantina del Pino 2016

We always look forward to new vintages from Cantina del Pino. They release Barbaresco a year later than most, so there's always a bit of anticipation, and when it comes to the 2016s, the wait has felt longer than usual. There have been so many great Nebbiolo vintages in Piemonte over the past 20 years (2002 and 2003 are the only really iffy years) but few will rival 2016. At Craft and Cru, we try not to hype any vintage too much, as we are quite convinced that terroir and its

Rosso @ Craft and Cru

Today we want to talk about rossi from Italy (spumante and fermo) and some American reds made from grapes you would otherwise almost always find coming from Italy's Piedmont region. A little random, as has been our wont of late, but the thread is in there somewhere. Saluti! We're big fans of sparkling red wine, thus Lambrusco is a fave. When it comes to Lambrusco, Cantina della Volta has stolen our hearts. It is not a relationship without its quirks: their chosen bottle shape

Reversing Roles

When we think of California wine, our minds might first go to full-bodied reds. With Provence wine, we probably think of pale rosé. Today we'll reverse those roles with a pair that may bend some preconceived notions. Angela Osbourne is a California winemaker on a mission. She makes wine from many different grapes under her Land of Saints label, but Grenache is her singular focus when it comes to her most important project, A Tribute to Grace. A grape that should probably be m

Down by the Sea: Mediterranean

How does the Mediterranean sea influence its wines? Will we taste salt? The aromatic scrub-land of the landscape? The ripe fruit of the region's sun-bathed vineyards? Hopefully all those things and more! Triennes Viognier 'Sainte Fleur' 2016 Triennes has always been an interesting property. In 1989 it was co-founded by two of Burgundy's biggest names: Aubert de Villaine (runs a little place called Domaine de la Romanee Conti) and Jacques Seysses (of the eponymous Domaine Duja

Italy’s Greatest Wine Region?

The home of Barolo, Barbaresco and so many of Italy's most celebrated and sought after bottles, the Langhe has so much to offer. Here are just a few that are our current obsession. Fratelli Alessandria Langhe Favorita 2017 The strictly delimited land of the Barolo DOCG is presently so valuable that Nebbiolo (the only grape allowed in a bottle of Barolo) is taking over in spots that would have formerly been considered too cool for such a late-ripening sun-craving cultivar. F