Traditional Piedmont Two-Ways: 2012 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barbera & 2008 Chionetti Dolcetto Briccolero

Posted by Joe Salamone

"Chionetti is a reference point producer for Dolcetto."

-Antonio Galloni

We've been beating the drum of 2010 Barolo for the past few months. When you're faced with a vintage that good, you have to. Today, we change course and take a break from the vintage and from Barolo to focus on Piedmont's more everyday wines from two of its great traditionalists.

Judging by all the calls we field for Giuseppe Rinaldi's wines, they don't need much of an introduction. When it comes to Quinto Chionetti, however, it's way past time that he gets his due. No one makes Dolcetto the way he does. They are old school, ageworthy Dolcettos and without peer. I'm told that Beppe Rinaldi himself is a huge fan of Chionetti's wines.

Quito Chionetti is in his late 80s and doesn't have an heir for his vines in the Dogliani zone. He stands as one of the unheralded old wise men of Piedmont and a master of Dolcetto. I remember how shocking my first taste of Chionetti's Dolcetto was.

I had no idea the grape could be so structured, complex, and soulful. The fact that Chionetti is so affordable only sweetens the deal. The 2008 Dolcetto Briccolero is definitely one my favorite under $20 reds.

Dolcetto is roughly translated as "little sweet one, " but from Chionetti's 2008 Briccolero you can expect much more savory. Think of stuff like licorice, tobacco, spice and dried flowers all backed up by a serious and silky tannic structure.

Giuseppe Rinaldi is one of the famous traditionalists of Piedmont. Everything that he produces disappears from the market. In the States, it's almost impossible to find his Barbera. I'm really happy to be able to offer a small amount today.

Like everything at Rinaldi, the 2012 Barbera offers up an outrageous purity and beautiful harmony. It has one of the most blatant expressions of minerality that I've seen in a Barbera that melds seamlessly into the wine's dark fruits and spice. Overall, it's vibrant, long and very compelling.

I have to mention just how limited the Rinaldi Barbera is. I'm pretty confident that this will sell out.

Both the Chionetti and the Rinaldi represent some of the finest traditional winemaking of Piedmont. I'm very happy to be able to offer these wines.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer

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