Piedmont mourns passing of Barolo giant Rinaldi
Giuseppe RINALDI, One of the most respected and outspoken producers in Piedmont, died on 2 September in Barolo, at the age of 70.
Son of Battista Rinaldi, mayor of Barolo in the early 1970s, Giuseppe originally graduated as a veterinarian, but at the age of 29 he became involved in his family’s winery. he was known to friends as Beppe, and often nicknamed ‘Citrico’, meaning citric, for his sharp, cutting comments.
Rinaldi was the last survivor of an uncompromising threesome of Barolo producers, along with Teobaldo Cappellano and Bartolo mascarello. Rinaldi stood against the rise of ‘ready-to-drink’ Barolos, advocating firm, structured wines made to last.
he favoured long maceration periods and maintained the use of large, neutral Slavonian oak vessels at a time when many others turned to new French barriques.
Sceptical of the mGA (menzione geografica aggiuntiva) classifications of cru vineyards introduced in 2011, Rinaldi never made a single-vineyard Barolo. From 1993 he labelled his Barolos as ‘Brunate-Le Coste’ and ‘Cannubi San Lorenzo-Ravera’.
Today, Rinaldi’s reputation for creating outstanding wines will be carried on by his daughters, marta and Carlotta, in charge of the winery and the vineyards respectively.
‘I admired him and the purity of his Barolos,’ said Dante Scaglione, a consultant to Bruno Giacosa and one of region’s leading winemakers.
‘he sought depth in Nebbiolo without any artificial intervention. he was able to express the true masculine essence of Barolo.’
Rinaldi’s passing was marked and respects paid at a memorial service held at his home on 5 September.