The traditionalist estate of Francesco Rinaldi e Figli is one of the greatest names in Piemonte. Located in the town of Barolo itself, the estate has a long and illustrious history in the region. It was founded in 1870, when Francesco Rinaldi inherited a vineyard and house in Barolo, inducing him to leave behind his work with the very large Mirafiore estate and set out on his own. His family at that time also had ties to the then greatest estate in the Barolo region, Barale-Rinaldi. Francesco was the cousin of Giuseppe Rinaldi, and together these two superb family wineries have marched down through time side by side, both upholding the unique, traditional style of Barolo that has also been championed by other great names in Piemonte, such as Bartolo Mascarello and Bruno Giacosa.
One hundred and thirty years later, much of the same techniques are still used in the Francesco Rinaldi cellar to produce some of Barolo’s greatest wines. The estate is now run by Luciano Rinaldi’s niece, Paola Rinaldi (a graduate of business school) with help from her sister Piera Rinaldi. They continue to make beautiful wines within the great traditions of Barolo, avoiding new oak, preferring long macerations, and aging in large Slavonian oak prior to bottling.
The two most stunning bottlings at Francesco Rinaldi e Figli are the single cru Barolos, Brunate (2 hectares) and Cannubi (2.4 hectares). Brunate, which lies on the border between La Morra and Barolo, and Cannubi are, without a doubt, two of Barolo’s five greatest vineyards. Wines from the Brunate vineyard are prized for their depth, fragrance and brilliant balance, while those of Cannubi (the single greatest vineyard in the village of Barolo and the most famous and historic vineyard not just in Barolo but in Italy) are magically light and perfumed and perform particularly well in rainy years, for the high sand content of this particular site allows for excellent drainage. It is, like Brunate, a true grand cru in the real sense of the two words.