Our table was comprised of Vinous members Marc D. and his Jennifer; Iggy M.and his wife Carolyn; Michael Z; Emil S.; Jonathan G. and myself. Paola Rinaldi of Francesco Rinaldi Winery along with the estate’s winemaker Fabio Gemme joined us at our table.
The Rinaldi winery was founded in 1870 and is a top producer of traditionally made Barolo and Barbaresco. The wines are aged in Slavonia oak barrels of medium and large capacity (20 – 50 Hl) for at least 3 years. The estate has been in the hands of Paola and Piera Rinaldi, great granddaughters of Giovanni Rinaldi, since the 1990s. I personally have found that the sisters have turned up the quality of the wines over the past few years. I am a frequent buyer of their wines.
Del Posto is the flagship restaurant of the Batali/Bastianch empire. It is a spacious and upscale restaurant serving great Italian cuisine that is complimented by highly professional service and a world class Italian wine list. The restaurant was closed all day to prepare for the event and then reserved for the event itself, which began with passed Assagi (little bites). Four Champagnes were served with the Assagi.
2004 Tattinger Comtes de Champagne. A terrific vintage for the bubbly and it showed in the first sip. The wine was young and bright with a full-bodied palate and brilliant focus. This will drink well for decades.
I can recall most, but not all of the wines I tasted during the evening. Allow me to begin with the wines at our table.
2009 Angelo Gaja Chardonnay Gaia & Rey. This is the first white wine ever produced by the Gaja family. Named for Angelo's daughter, Gaia, and his grandmother, Clotilde Rey. It’s a big wine for a Chardonnay, with too much oak and vanilla for me.
1997 Angelo Gaja Langhe Nebbiolo Conteisa. Piedmontese for "quarrel," this wine was named for the historic dispute between the communes of La Morra and Barolo for possession of the Cerequio land. Deep garnet red hue. Muted earthy bouquet with a bold palate and a bit too much oak for me.
2001 Aldo Conterno Barolo Cicala (Magnum). Unfortunately this was corked.
1999 Aldo Conterno Barolo Riserva Granbussia. A round and delicious classically made Barolo with a big earthy bouquet and an elegant and refined palate.
2001 Aldo Conterno Barolo Riserva Granbussia. Glorious wine that is entering its peak drinking window. Gorgeous bouquet with a vibrant fruity palate and lengthy finish
1980 Cappellano Barolo. Classic Cappellano that is fully mature and drinking with soul!
1997 Angelo Gaja Barbaresco. Dark red hue. While I am not a big fan of Gaja’s wine style, this drank well. I found the tannins a bit harsher than the Contesia, but the oak was better integrated in my opinion.
2006 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino. 2006 was a great vintage in Barolo, and this wine is one of the very finest examples of the vintage. Even though the wine is still very young, the pedigree of the wine is apparent with each sip. Impeccable balance, finesse and elegance soared from the glass with each sip. In another 5 to 10 years this may well be judged the wine of the vintage.
2007 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia. 2007 was another terrific vintage in Barolo. Roberto Conterno did not make any Monfortino in 2006, opting instead to use the fruit instead in the CF. More approachable than the 2006 Monfortino, the wine is drinking beautifully and has the balance and acidity to last another 2 to 3 decades at least.
2004 Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcinio Riserva (Magnum). I broke with the theme of the evening by bringing this wine as I thought it would offer a nice contrast to the Baroli. The wine more than held its own as it drank beautifully. Gorgeous bouquet of fruit and earth with a beautifully balance palate and a lengthy and elegant finish.
The final two wines were brought by Paola Rinaldi from the winery.
2008 Francesco Rinaldi Barolo Brunate. Another prized Barolo vintage, this was elegant and polished on the palate. Still very much a baby but will give much drinking pleasure for another couple of decades.
1964 Francesco Rinaldi Barolo. This wine was in great shape with vibrant fruit and terrific balance and complexity on the palate.
Wines from other tables