As commented before, the success of the 2016 vintage in Barolo has happily coincided with a significant uptick in winemaking skill, that has been building for several years. Consequently, I have been impressed by a broader base of growers than in the past – the average quality in 2016 is very high and the wines are very compelling.
For a full range of available 2016 Barolo, please follow this link Barolo 2016 or read on for details on this latest release.
Last year we added the wines of Francesco Rinaldi to our portfolio, and as impressive as the 2015s are, the 2016s are unsurprisingly a notch or two ahead.
The estate is run today by Paola and Piera Rinaldi and extends over ten hectares; 80% of the vineyards lie within the Barolo region, and almost half within the two leading sites of Cannubi and Brunate. These two vineyards must rank among the finest sites across all Barolo, with Cannubi as perhaps the most historic. Beyond these two notable Cru, they also own small parcels in Sarmassa (Barolo), La Cordana (Castiglione Falleto) and Rocche dell’Annunziata (La Morra), all of which are blended to make their impressive Barolo normale.
As I mentioned last year, recent investments in the cellar seem to have breathed new life here, possibly leading to a step up in purity and precision in the wines. Looking at the huge old oak botti that are employed for ageing, you are quickly assured that everything here remains traditional. Indeed, at our recent visit, Paola explained the difficulty of gaining access to the ageing cellar when replacing the botti, each of which has capacity of 50,000 litres!
I hope you aren’t being overwhelmed by our Barolo offers; the growers of the region do not adhere to a collective schedule of releases as in Bordeaux or Burgundy, hence the fact that we release each grower one by one, rather than one large offer. Indeed, a few estates don’t tend to release until as late as September. Even if you are feeling some fatigue, you should take a good look at these two impressive, classically-styled wines. I like the texture of the Rinaldi wines…the wines are endowed with considerable richness and yet the overall impression is one of purity and refinement. They age incredibly well and I would suggest broaching these from 2026 onwards, though they have the potential to age to 2045 in a vintage such as 2016. Moreover, the Rinaldi wines go some way to highlight the value that is still apparent in Barolo today – I am always surprised by just how favourable the pricing is…
2016 Barolo, Cannubi, Francesco Rinaldi
£245 per 6 bottle case in bond
(92-95) points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
The 2016 Barolo Cannubi brings together all the best elements of the year with the natural pedigree of this site. Fresh and vibrant in the glass, with terrific underlying structure, the Cannubi is a Barolo of captivating aromatic intensity and drive that is shaping up to be a real beauty. In 2016, hail was a factor. The estate opted to use some of the affected fruit in the straight Barolo, which then had the effect of lowering production for the single vineyard wine by about 30%. As for the wine itself, well, it is pretty stellar.
2016 Barolo, Brunate, Francesco Rinaldi
£235 per 6 bottle case in bond
(91-94) points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
Rinaldi's 2016 Barolo Brunate is dark and dense, with terrific mid-palate pliancy and striking inner perfume. In this vintage, the Brunate is remarkably polished, with less of the boisterous explosiveness it can tend to show, and tons of finesse for a young wine that is still in cask.
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All the best, stay safe,