Francesco Rinaldi

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

Like their famed relatives on the other side of Barolo village (Guiseppe Rinaldi) Francesco Rinaldi e Figli are an avowed traditionalist producer with vineyard holdings in some of the commune’s most highly prized plots; not surprising considering their history dates back to the 1870s! Today the estate is run by the 80+ year-old Luciano along with his nieces, Paola & Piera Rinaldi. The wines are made pretty much the same way they always have been with the exception of a new press and some stainless steel in the cellars. Beyond that, vinification follows the “traditionalist handbook” and includes extended maceration times and elevage in 20-50 hectolitre Slavonian oak.

The estate makes a full suite of Piemontese bottlings including the usual suspects of Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo but also Grignolino and even Gavi. Of course the focus for such a famous and historic estate is the Baroli that is produced here. Rinaldi make a blended Barolo with fruit taken from vineyard holdings in both the La Morra and Barolo communes but also two single cru wines, Brunate (most of their holding is on the La Morra side of the boundary) and Cunnubi (labelled with the old name Cannubio).

In stye the wines preserve both the aromatic and palate integrity of the nebbiolo variety and, where once they were excessively austere, they are now more open and pliant when viewed within the context of the traditional style. We recommend them to you. MICHAEL MCNAMARA