Rinaldi is one of the cult producers of Barolo. There’s been plenty written about him which I won’t regurgitate here other than to say, he clearly had a single-minded focus on quality. Beppe, sat in the more traditional camp of producers, and, like Barolo Mascarello and Maria-Teresa, Beppe Rinaldi was an advocate of blending to create harmony and balance.
There’s no doubt, that like the Mascarellos, he had an opinion. His nickname, Citrico, attests to this!
His wines truly have great personality. With his premature passing this year, his daughters Marta and Carlotto, both of whom had been working with him for some time have taken the reigns.
Beppe Rinaldi explores the history of Barolo and his thoughts on its growing and making in the video at the end of this post.
There’s an overall theme to Rinaldi’s wines. It’s one of exceptional fruit quality, balance, expressive personalities and great beauty. Apart from the 2006 & 2007 Brunate that were sadly looking a bit tired. You’d happily devour any of the wines we drank on the night. The highs from this winery are very high indeed.
Drinking a set of 12 allows a rare insight into this exceptional maker. The opportunity to critically, take time drinking them, compare and contrast such wines is unique. It’s in these circumstances that you can really push your wine thinking, and explore what a great bottle really is for you.
A huge shout out to Anth D’Anna and his mentor ‘Il Professore’ for putting on such a sensory feast!
Before exploring them in detail. I have to say that several of these wines were among the best Baroli I have drunk, and, I have dunk more than a few. This is truly one of the great producers of the world.
Three areas stood out:
- The most thought-provoking facet of these wines for me was the texture and quality of tannins in the wines.
- The fruit quality and the bold fruit of the 2010’s.
- The different personalities of the two wines.
Texture and Tannins
The mouthfeel of the 2008’s, the 2009’s, and, the 2010’s showed intriguing differences.
The tannins in the 2008’s were a little edgy. Perhaps a tad green.
Stand-alone the 2009’s had much more layered, riper tannins, of more depth.
When we got to the 2010’s, extra layers of tannins, with great depth of tannin shone through.
Bold Fruit of the 2010’s
Again the pairs of 2008’s, the 2009’s, and, the 2010’s showed intriguing differences.
The Brunate-Le Coste from 2008 had a spectacular perfume, wine of the night until the 2009 Brunate-Le Coste was revealed. Simply got lost in the scent of this incredibly special wine. One of the rare moments were the particularly noisy room faded into the background and I was lost in the glass. Entrancing wine of incredible sophistication, a perfume of complete harmony lifting out of the glass.
The area of fruit character is where the 2010’s currently have me thinking. I’ve had quite a few now. Have devoured a Cavallotto Bricco Boschis ‘San Guiseppe’ Riserva just the week before this tasting and a Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia not that long ago. The fruit is incredibly rich, yet fresh, bold with great depth and length. Yet with the Rinaldi and Conterno, in particular, I felt like they lost a little identity and didn’t have the sophistication or intrigue that I desired.
There is no doubt they are very special wines. Every time we’ve had the Rinaldi or Conterno wines it was the vintages either side that shone through. Perhaps it is simply a matter of patience and allowing them to reach the next phase of development where secondary characters with come forward and the fruit will dial down a little in volume.
The Personality of Brunate-Le Coste vs Cannubi ‘San Lorenzo’-Ravera know named Tre Tine (three sites)
Both incredible wines. Serious quality of fruit and personality. I hate doing this, but, I’m going to do it anyway! The Brunate-La Coste were more like Chambolles and the Cannubi ‘San Lorenzo-Ravera more like Gevrey-Chambertin. In general, I’d say the following of the two:
Generally the more feminine nose, perfume, enchantment and sophistication with more pure fruit flavours.
Cannubi ‘San Lorenzo’- Ravera
Savoury darker fruits with spice and earthiness. Slightly more rustic tannins.
2006 Brunate-Le Coste Barolo
Developed with an edge of wet wool, slightly oxidised. Edge of volatility and lift. Underneath you could see the was at some point an incredible core of fruit. Lovely tannins and fine acid. Complex, past its prime.
2006 Cannubi ‘San Lorenzo’-Ravera Barolo #3
Vibrant excellent core of fruit with amazing depth and length. Still so youthful. Tannins, much more masculine. Dark, cherry fruit with brown spice and earthy notes. Layered with excellent harmony.
2007 Brunate-Le Coste Barolo
Edge of VA, oxidation. angular, acidity sticking out without the fruit to support it. Again can see the potential that would have been had it been a good bottle.
2007 Cannubi ‘San Lorenzo’-Ravera Barolo
Lovely harmony, layering, Exceptional dark, long fruit that lingers. Beautiful tannins, great balance. Hints of earth, savoury notes, and, violets. Lick of rosemary and fennel. Subtle and refined.
2008 Brunate-Le Coste Barolo #2
Yes! Beautiful vibrant core of fruit. Such lovely florals. Exceptional. Fennel with earthiness. A little bitterness in a good tarry way. Edgy mid-palate tannin. Like the acid that is right on the edge. Such an entrancing nose that draws you in and dances through. Palate isn’t quite as sophisticated texturally.
2008 Cannubi ‘San Lorenzo’-Ravera Barolo
Savour dark, spiced. More depth. Rustic edgy tannins. Liquorice. Brooding, tightly wound at the mo. Waiting for it to explode. Exceptional fruit. Some lovely secondary characters and texture just need to relax and give a little more.
Here we see a shift in tannins, riper and more layered than the 2008’s giving the wine greater harmony. The nose stepped up again from the 2008 Brunate. Extra personality, just draws you in. Sophisticated and playful. One of those wines you’re happy just smelling. Incredible feminine perfume. Exceptional length of rich dark fruit.
2009 Cannubi ‘San Lorenzo’-Ravera Barolo
Savoury, liquorice. Slight blip in the length of tannin toward the back. Exceptional front, mid, fruit. Dark, expressive. Initially luscious, then tannins build.
2010 Brunate-Le Coste Barolo =#4
I find myself conflicted by the 2010’s from Rinaldi. On one hand, they have exceptional, depth and length of fruit. A boldness to the fruit. It will be interesting to see if it resolves over time and offers a little more delicacy.
2010 Tre Tine Barolo =#4
Bold fruit, with very ripe layered tannins. There is something a little clumsy about it at the moment. This is an exceptional wine, I just have to call it as it is now. Looking for a little more finess to come through. I suspect and hope that as it matures it will resolve and a little more personality will come through.
2011 Tre Tine Barolo
You could see the mark of the producer in the quality of the fruit. At the moment this is a little angular and clumsy. Still making its way through puberty, showing great potential.
2014 Tre Tine Barolo
Just an edge raw at the moment. Still needing tile to settle and express itself. The balance is there, the core of fruit it there, some lovely tannin. A curious passionfruit and popcorn aroma will undoubtedly diminish and allow the real fruit through!
White truffles from Alba and pasta was undoubtedly the food and wine combination of the night with the 2009 Brunate-Le Coste Barolo.