Robert Parker 96
Rinaldi’s 2004 Barolo Brunate/Le Coste has been special every time I have tasted it over the last few years. Profoundly expressive balsamic aromas jump out of the glass, leading to layers of seductive perfumed dark fruit that continue to unfold as the wine sits in the glass. This is a truly majestic Barolo. It possesses superb weight and density in a finely-textured yet powerful style. The tannins are firm yet incredibly refined. Readers will not want to miss this exceptional wine. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2029. a oeBeppea Rinaldi is one of Piedmont’s most iconic producers. Historically his bottles have been hard to find because they are mostly sold to private individuals rather than the trade, meaning that large lots are nearly impossible to come by. These are among the most natural, unmanipulated wines being made anywhere. At times past vintages have shown some rough edges and excessive amount of volatile acidity, but those traits seem to belong to the past, as today’s wines are cleaner and better made. My recent visit was illuminating as I tasted everything in barrel from vintages 2004 through 2007. The rigorously traditional style is alive and well in these cellars. The wines are fermented in an open-top wood vat using natural yeasts. Temperature is not mechanically controlled. The wines see a longish fermentation/maceration and are aged in cask. Although Rinaldi has changed out a few barrels recently, the only concession to anything resembling modernity is an old-fashioned rotary telephone, which seems to genuinely annoy him each time it rings. Yields here have never been particularly low but the trend towards warmer growing seasons has resulted in beautifully ripe and fragrant fruit, particularly in recent years. One of things I admire most about Rinaldi is that he just goes about his business as he always has. He doesn’t give a hoot what I, or anyone else for that matter, thinks about his wines, and that suits him just fine. Prices have barely budged since I began visiting years ago. Rinaldi told me he thought generally pricing had gone out of hand. a oeIt is, after all, just wine,a he said. Importer: Vinifera Imports, Ronkonkoma, NY; tel. (631) 467-5907
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2029
There aren t too many surprises here; the 2004 is every bit as refined as it has always been. Beautifully layered and nuanced, with tons of energy and vibrancy, the Brunate-Le Coste shows just how striking the best wines are in 2004. The detail and depth here are unreal.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2029