Francesco Rinaldi and Guido Porro 2014 New Arrivals

The transformation that has taken place at Francesco Rinaldi over the last few years is truly remarkable. It wasn’t that long ago that the wines were harsh, lean and excessively austere, even within the context of traditionally made Barolo. Not any more. Today’s wines are cut with beautiful precision and show exceptional harmony. Even better, they won’t take decades to come around. ANTONIO GALLONI

Guido Porro is one of my favorite under the radar producers...They also happen to be among the most fairly priced Baroli readers will come across in today’s market. Porro’s vineyards are in Serralunga, where Baroli tend to be quite powerful, but here the wines are delicate, perfumed and refined, all in a classic, traditional style built on transparency and weightlessness. Guido Porro remains one of the most underrated growers in Serralunga. ANTONIO GALLONI

I am delighted to finally be able to offer these two great producer’s newest wines. At the time of the Festa dal Barolo the ship carrying them was still a week or so from our shores and once it arrived I decided I wanted to give the wines some clear air between the onslaught of Barolo offers you had to deal with during that period. These wines deserve it. The producers are both in rare form and make some of the most compelling traditionally styled Baroli in the Langhe hills. Both Guido Porro and the Rinaldi sisters, Piera and Paola, have made simply sensational wines in 2014. In fact I have tasted few better examples from this vintage.

Very quickly to a bit of potted history on both (I am very happy to expand upon this at length on the phone if you would prefer).

Francesco Rinaldi and the wider Rinaldi family (Beppe at the other end of the village) have been a feature of the Barolo village landscape for over a century and hold some of the choicest vineyard plots in the commune including the main crus Brunate (mainly on the La Morra side of the village boundary) and Cannubi (where the main cellars sit) . Their style is staunchly traditional with extended maceration times and maturation only in large Slavonian oak being the main tenets of this approach. As Galloni alludes to in his quote above, their style has become much more pliant over the last decade and this, to me, has been revelatory as it has parted the curtain on more specific vineyard derived characteristics and quite simply made the wines exponentially more enjoyable. Today, they are one of my favourite traditional producers.

Guido Porro is one of those producers who reminds you of a different time and space in the wine game. A time when the media aware producer was non-existent in the Langhe and in its place was bemusement that anyone would be interested in his wines at all. This is Guido Porro: a beautifully naive and honest producer who just happens to be extremely gifted and sitting on a some of the better plots in Serralunga commune. This combination makes for some of the better traditionally hewn wines in the area. In style, his wines are almost atypical in as much as they do not hold Serralunga's formidable austerity. Rather they have an approachability and litheness to them that lets the unique characteristics of the cru vineyards shine through amidst an almost silken texture. The other fantastic thing that seems a hangover from another era here is the pricing. There can't be better value cru Barolo anywhere.

There are no reviews out yet but as with last year (big scores late meant we had to scramble to get more) when they do come they'll be very good indeed. The yields were very small in 2014 and as such there is not much wine so please let me know ASAP if you would like to order.