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 Champagne: Sebastien Girost Dure Peine

You've definitely heard of two of the major grapes of Champagne, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and you've probably heard of Pinot Meunier, the other one*. Most Champagne is a blend of the three, but there's a good chance you've had some pure Chardonnay or pure Pinot Noir from Champagne. Pure Pinot Meunier? It's a thing, more and more common lately, but far from the norm, and I bet most of you have not tried one yet. The first pure Pinot Meunier Champagne I tried was Egly-Ouriet'

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

New Landron: Clos la Cariziere

That's Jo Landron, you've probably read about him here before. We really love his wines. I thought I knew about all of them, but I was wrong, as I'd never tasted his Clos la Cariziere. We tasted it a few weeks ago, and it has now garnered quite an audience at Craft and Cru. If you haven't tried it yet, do so soon. One of the things I struggle with as a wine lover, wine buyer and wine seller is the sustainability of fine wine. Even if the wine maker takes every step to preserv

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

Vino/Vin Bianco/Blanc

White wine is often not taken as seriously as red wine. This is a mistake. Way under the radar, the Bianchello del Metauro DOC of Italy's Marche region is nonetheless worth your attention, especially when it comes to the organic wine of Crespaia. Established in 2011, Crespaia has grown to 10 contiguous hectares of certified organic vines around an old villa and church close to the Adriatic Sea. They grow some Sangiovese, but Crespaia is focused on the Bianchello cultivar, a g

Exceptional California

We have some of the best people visiting us at Craft and Cru. Seriously. I won't go into too much detail here, but long story short, I had my eye on A Natural History of Wine since I'd first read of its publication a few years ago, and under the most heartwarming of circumstances it was gifted to me earlier this year by one of our favorite patrons. I just finished the chapter on phylloxera and the last paragraph deserves reprinting: In his excellent Dying on the Vine, George

Summer Vino

A few delicious randos to consider for the summer: Move over Prosecco, Otrugo dei Colli Piacentini Frizzante is going to be the next big thing... well, probably not, but if you drop into Craft and Cru and ask for Prosecco, we might just get you to try a sparkling Ortrugo from La Tosa, a small organic estate in the hills south of Piacenza, in the Emilia region of Italy. Totally obscure to most American wine drinkers, you can find some amazing deals from Emilia. Case in point,

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

Prager Steal, Super South Styrian Sauvignon, White Rioja Magnificence

A bit of a random collection, but all so worthwhile, and especially notable for being really good deals. Many of the world's most delicious and distinctive wines are very expensive, but there are also many around $20, they're just a little harder to find. You've got three right in front of you right now. Front and center, because this one shouldn't be in a mix of $20-something wines. We love Prager, but all of their wines are pretty pricey. This wine was slated to be $45, but

2019 Hofgut Falkenstein: true delight

It might look a bit decrepit and moldy, it may be small and dimly lit, but knowing what pristine treasures lie within those barrels, we'll contend that the image above depicts one of the world's greatest cellars; it is where the Weber family, of Hofgut Falkenstein, ferments and ages all of their delicious wine. While a busy world pre-pays (read: overpays) for a lake of 2019 Bordeaux, wines that will not be delivered for years, you can enjoy the Webers' incredible 2019 vintage

Languedoc & Roussillon: The World's Most Prolific Wine Region

Known for everything from crisp cheap whites to rare ancient fortified wines, the Languedoc and Roussillon represent a huge diversity of wine terroirs, grapes and styles. We are just scratching the surface with these featured wines, but we think there's something for everyone here. Jean Marc Lafage Cotes Catalanes Blanc 'Cote Est' 2018 A lively blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Chardonnay and 20% Rolle (aka Vermentino, Pigato, Favorita...), this wine will be our one entry from Rouss

Diving into Liqueurs; Rando Wines

Toss out those cheaply flavored and artificially colored cordials. You know, the ones that are used so infrequently that the cap has crusted over with sugar, and now requires industrial tools to open. Replace them with some sweet and sassy liqueurs; great for sipping solo, spicing up your favorite cocktails, or even adding depth to pastries and desserts. Here are a few recommendations so tasty, the bottle will be gone before you know it. Bertina Elderflower, Finland Neithe

Geek on Greek Wines

We've been meaning to feature the wines of Greece for awhile, and we could not be more pleased with this six-wine lineup; a selection that just scratches the surface, but still presents a colorful and complex picture of this amazing wine culture. Argyros Santorini 2016 It would be hard to find a wine that could better represent Greece. The Santorini of Argyros is classic. From the hot, windy, and dry island of Santorini, a destination far better known for its scenery than its