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Giuseppe Rinaldi, known as Beppe, assumed control of his family winery (named for his grandfather) in 1992, perhaps the peak period of the modernization of the production of Barolo. Instead of succumbing to what was considerable pressure from his peers and from the market to change his methods and his wines, Rinaldi has continued to produce resolutely uncompromising traditional Barolo. He is one of our foremost winemaker heroes, for his devotion to that tradition, for his dedication to natural wine, and for making what are some of the world’s greatest wines.
But, as you can see, this list consists primarily of much older Rinaldi Barolo and Barbaresco. We’ve been looking for years for older vintage Giuseppe Rinaldi, in part because the wines made by Beppe’s father Battista are legendary for their quality. Battista Rinaldi seems to have been a local figure of a stature similar to Giacomo Conterno, or Giuseppe Mascarello (father of Mauro), or Bartolo Mascarello. Given the vintages, these wines could only have been made traditionally; it’s those production methods that inform the current wines made by Beppe Rinaldi.
These are super-rare wines (as are any older vintages made by Beppe); one can only assume that a devoted clientele clings to their bottles, because they are never on the market. It’s taken a very long time, but finally one of the Italian collectors from whose cellar we’ve purchased a lot of wine in the past decided to sell us some bottles.
Like many of their peers, in the old days the Rinaldis seem to have made do with what was at hand, and there is some variety of label and bottle used for these wines. We've had lots of fabulous wine from this cellar, so the age-distressed labels are not a reflection on the quality of the contents!
Finally, we've included the current Barolos made by Beppe Rinaldi in 2008, both fantastic wines, and both worthy heirs to the family tradition.