Ross' Weekly Sip: An Ode to Giuseppe Rinaldi

Giuseppe Rinaldi 1949-2018

While I generally like to focus on great values that we have to offer at Mike’s Wine & Spirits, this week I would like to celebrate a great region, and the winemaker who championed it over the last three decades. 

Giuseppe Rinaldi, known as Beppe by his friends and peers, was a veterinarian by trade who would go on to take the reins of the Rinaldi estate in Barolo, upon his father’s passing.  As third generation winemaker, Beppe was an outspoken advocate for the traditional style of Barolo.  Long macerations and years spent in large Slavonian oak casks, the wines are austere and tannic in their youth, but with time in bottle, show incomparable finesse.  

In addition to his advocacies, Beppe strongly opposed the “ready to drink” style that has become modernist Barolo.  Pointing out the similarities to regions like Bordeaux and Burgundy, Rinaldi also worried that the ever-increasing land prices were making Barolo a region of businessmen, and not of viticulturists. 

On September 2nd Beppe passed away at the age of 69 after a long battle with cancer.  Although we mourn the death of one of the greatest winemakers this generation has known, we can take solace in the fact that Beppe’s two daughters, Marta and Carlotta, will continue on his tradition as stewards to the winery. 

These wines, unfortunately, are incredibly difficult to source, but if you have a chance, stop by this week and pick up one of the many fantastic Barolos that we have on our shelves at all our Mike’s locations.  Raise a glass, and cheers to the man who made Barolo the King of Wines that it is today. 

Salute!

Ross Jackson

The Kansas City

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Andy Doohan