In a nutshell: A rich and polished Barbera from top Barolo producer Francesco Rinaldi.
The lowdown: One of the three principle red grape varieties of Piedmont, along with Nebbiolo and Dolcetto, Barbera is highly versatile and can produce wines that are both light, great value and easy drinking, as well as serious, structured examples that really demonstrate what this fantastic grape can do, like this one from the Francesco Rinaldi winery. Grown in prime south and south-east facing vineyards around the famous villages of Barolo and La Morra the wine spends over a year in medium-sized traditional Slavonian oak barrels before being bottled and then aged for a further several months before release.
Intense, rich and deep ripe red fruit and plum notes with sour cherry and touches of spice on the nose. The palate is broad, smooth and deep with lots of soft, juicy red fruits, hints of spice and forest floor notes, and with typical soft tannins and bright acidity.
When to drink: Will work well with game, roast pork chops, or rich tomato based dishes.
Francesco Rinaldi e Figli is one of the great names in Piedmont. Located in the town of Barolo itself, the estate has a long and illustrious history in the region since its foundation in 1870. Giovanni Rinaldi built a winery and cellar in the town and this came into the charge of his youngest son Francesco in 1922. His sons Michele and Luciano further develop the estate in the 1960s and in the 1990s Luciano's nieces Paola and Piera took the reins and currently run the estate.
While they make several wines from across the region their flagships are from two single cru Barolo vineyards, Brunate and Cannubi. They only have small holdings here and the wines are pretty sought after. While the estate is proud of its traditional approach sisters Paola and Piera have broadened the estate's horizons considerably.