Monday, December 13, 2010
Barbera d'Alba, Giuseppe Rinaldi 2008
€9 ex-cellar. 13.5% alcohol. Cork. Not exported to the US.
One bottle—one criminally small bottle—of Beppe Rinaldi's Barbera d'Alba made it into the mixed case I cobbled together over the course of my adventures in Piedmont this May.
Tasting the 2009 version from botte at the estate with the lovely young Marta Rinaldi and learning that its production is too small to supply the US market (AND blown away by how delicious it already was), I just had to make space for a bottle of its brother from an earlier vintage in that mixed case. Ten days, somewhere in the vicinity of twenty producer visits, and I was limiting myself to twelve bottles for the long journey home... insanity. In retrospect, I wish I'd allowed for a second case, just of this.
Beautifully fresh and juicy, brimming with boisterous fruit, lively acidity and just enough tannin to keep you alert. Blueberries, plums, red cherries.... It was absolutely delicious with our lasagna and altogether, seamlessly complete. About as close as wine can come to being the most unimaginably delicious example of fruit juice while simultaneously being 100% vinous in character. The kind of wine one could happily glug without a care or just as easily meditate upon for hours. Something of a miracle of nature and one of the most memorable wines I've drunk all year. Enough said.