Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Tre Tine 2016
97+ points - Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, September 2021
"This is the kind of vintage you dream of," says Carlotta Rinaldi, as she pours her precious Giuseppe Rinaldi 2016 Barolo Tre Tine at the winery. The wine represents a watershed moment for Carlotta, as she remembers walking through the vineyards with her father (who passed away in 2018 at 69 years old) to taste the fruit before harvest. She thought it was time to start picking (on the 28th or 29th of September), and her father readily agreed, deferring to her expertise. This is a classic Rinaldi Barolo, a tribute to a father and his two daughters, with so much balance and fruit equilibrium. Vineyard management was a breeze in 2016, and the grapes meticulously developed nuanced complexity, tannic firmness and freshness to carry the wine over the long haul. Easy punch-downs were measured twice a day and pump-overs were hardly necessary before the cap became soft and supple about 25 days later (the Ravera in this blend of fruit, which also sees Cannubi San Lorenzo and Le Coste, can sometimes go up to 30 days, but this is rare). The wine shows sharp and linear fruit tones that add bright energy to the wine's silky, mid-weight texture. This is one for the cellar, as these beautiful results should only get better with time.
The Rinaldi home and winery is located a stone’s throw away from the village of Barolo. The stone and brick manor sits atop a panoramic hill and enjoys commanding views of Barolo’s castle and the surrounding vineyards. A few old cars are parked out front and a dog sleeps in a sunny patch near the front door. The wines of Giuseppe Rinaldi are among the most coveted and celebrated by fine wine collectors worldwide. Much of this appeal is tied to the legacy of Giuseppe himself and his acerbic wit. He died on September 2, 2018, at 69 years old, after a battle with bladder cancer. Today, winemaking and vineyard management has seamlessly transitioned to his daughters, Marta and Carlotta. A strict adherence to local tradition proved the ultimate key to success. Giuseppe Rinaldi followed in the winemaking footsteps of his father and grandfather before him. The family started to sell fruit in the late 1800s and began bottling its own wine in the 1920s. In addition to Dolcetto d’Alba, Barbera d’Alba and Freisa, the estate makes three Nebbiolo-based wines: two Barolos and a Langhe Nebbiolo. The first is the single-vineyard Barolo Brunate, although under MGA rules (that allow for up to 15% outside fruit) the family adds in a small part from Le Coste. “Le Coste boosts the wine’s brightness,” Carlotta Rinaldi explains. Depending on vintage, the Brunate is often the more ethereal and elegant of the two. Sporting a little more fruit weight and concentration is the Barolo Tre Tine, named after the “three vats” that make up the cuvée. This historic blend sees fruit from Ravera, Le Coste and Cannubi San Lorenzo. - Monica Larner