Vintage Piedmont Wine Tasting Featuring Rinaldi and Gaja Wines

Friday, February 11, 2022 - 07:30 PM

This Event has been read: 1232 times.

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“High and fine literature is wine, and mine is only water; but everybody likes water.” 
― Mark Twain

 

That’s all I drink is wine and water with a little Tequila and Scotch mixed in for good measure.  It’s all coming out in my new book the “Two Bottle Per Day Wine Diet”.  I’m in training and must stay in good drinking shape for all these tastings like this “Once in a Life time” tasting that we just put on the schedule to celebrate two of our favorite producers in the Piedmont.   Giuseppi Rinaldi is no longer with us and will be missed and although Angel Gaja is much more popular there is no question that these two icons of the Piedmont are considered to be two of the best from this region.

There is nothing that is quite as intruiging as serving Giuseppi Rinaldi’s wines alongside those of Angelo Gaja.  The Piedmont is one of the world's most unique grape growing regions and is the only area where the Nebbiolo varietal makes a high-quality age worthy wine. We will have fully mature versions of Nebbiolo as well as the current release on the table tonight.

Join us as we experience these two great Piedmont producers with a selection of a dozen top examples of Angelo Gaja and Giuseppe Rinaldi wines from the last four decades. Toni Lampasone will be making a special tasting menu to accompany these incredible wines.  The fee for this event which includes dinner is $595.00 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

 

Angelo Gaja VS Giuseppe Rinaldi

Piedmont Wine Tasting

Friday, February 11th
7:30 PM
2017 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Tre Tine
2017 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate
2005 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Canubbi San Lorenzo
2005 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate Le Coste
2003 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate Le Coste
1997 Gaja Sori Tildin
1997 Gaja Sperss
1997 Gaja Conteisa
1990 Gaja Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo
1991 Gaja Sito Moresco
1987 Gaja Darmagi Cabernet Sauvignon
Menu
Cheese and Charcuterie Selection
Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Sauteed Wild Mushrooms over Brioche Toast
Beef Tartar Ravioli served over Sundried Tomato Browned Butter with Fresh Basil
Pan Seared Duck Breast with Dark Cherry Sauce and Cardamon Sweet Potato Mash
White Chocolate Mousse Pie with Oreo Cookie Crust and Strawberry Sauce

The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $595 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.  Please let us know when you make your reservation if you do NOT like veal and Toni will be glad to make you chicken.

 

A bit about Gaja Winery:

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He has been called a restless genius; others have been less charitable in their characterizations of Angelo Gaja (pronounced GUY-YAH).  Gaja is a fourth generation winegrower from Barbaresco, one of Italy's premier wine districts in Piedmont in northern Italy.  As controversial as Angelo Gaja is, nobody disputes his great talents as a winemaker or his ability to generate interest in his wines.  Gaja in his relatively short career has become the highest profile grower in Piedmont as well as Italy's most famous winemaker.  He has accomplished this through consummate skill at both winemaking and public relations.  He describes himself as "vain"; we translate that to mean that he is not the least bit reluctant to be an unabashed publicist for his own wines.  Gaja has traveled extensively throughout the world hyping the Gaja name while also trying to learn more about how he might apply new technology in order to improve his own wines.  He first visited California for this purpose in 1974, and it is presumed that it was there that he became fascinated with the "barrique" concept - the idea of aging his reds in small oak barrels.  He has broken new ground in many areas, and even his critics begrudgingly admit that the results speak for themselves.  Gaja is now regarded as Piedmont's leading producer of Barbaresco, and his wines command prices that rival those charged anywhere in the world.

The Gaja firm has been bottling wines since the early 1900's; in 1964 a decision was made to contract the size of the Gaja winery and produce only wines from the winery's own vineyards.  The fact that the Gaja winery produces only estate wines is a most salient point in the gospel according to Gaja, for he feels that the consumer is willing to pay more for "authentic Gaja".  Gaja is the largest private owner of vineyards in the Barbaresco zone with 153 acres.  About half the annual Gaja production of 22,000 cases is Barbaresco - the rest is split between Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera, a nouveau-style Nebbiolo called Vinot, several Chardonnays, a Cabernet, and a Barolo.  The Cabernet and Chardonnay have been very controversial in this part of Italy where tradition and conservative values reign supreme.  To plant foreign grapes in Barbaresco was heresy to some; but Gaja defends against those charges by pointing out that in the 1890's - before phylloxera destroyed the vineyards - there were Cabernet and Chardonnay vines planted in Piedmont.  Even the retired Giovanni Gaja, Angelo Gaja's father (who is now said to like the Cabernet planted in the Gaja vineyards), referred to the Cabernet plantings as "darmagi" - "such a pity."  He felt that it was a pity that Cabernet - not the native Nebbiolo - was being planted in a prime vineyard site by his son.  The name stuck, and Gaja's Cabernet is called Darmagi.  We have tasted the Chardonnay and the Cabernet with Gaja and on several other occasions and have been impressed with their quality; their price, however, is extremely ambitious.

In 1988 Gaja purchased a Barolo vineyard in the Marenca e Rivette area of the village of Serralunga.  The property was well known to Gaja, for his father often purchased fruit from this vineyard in order to produce Barolo in the 1940's and 1950's.  This long standing desire to return to Barolo was reflected in the name Gaja selected for the Barolo.  The name "Sperss" is an expression in Piedmontese dialect that translates to "profound longing or nostalgia" (in this case nostalgia for Barolo.)  The first two releases - the 1988 and 1989 Sperss - have met extraordinary critical reception.  The 1989 was selected as the number two wine in the TOP 100 wines of 1993 and scored a (96) in The Wine Spectator!

Gaja has made his name with Barbaresco.  Both Barbaresco and Barolo are produced from the Nebbiolo grape within a few miles of each other in Piedmont.  Gaja ages his Barbaresco in small new oak barrels, and he manages to produce a wine that takes on a certain subtlety and suppleness without losing the personality of the Nebbiolo grape.  One way Gaja manages to do this is by steam cleaning the inside of his brand new oak barrels in order to remove some of the oak extract they might otherwise impart to the new wine - a rather shocking technique that works!  His Barbarescos have a unique personality for other reasons as well.  He picks his grapes late for more extract and color, but he also strives to produce a harmonious wine with more aroma and flavor and less tannin.  These and many other factors are what make Gaja Barbarescos unique and sought out by connoisseurs all over the world.  In addition to Gaja's regular Barbaresco, he bottles three "crus" - but only in great years.  His single vineyard Barbarescos - "Sorì San Lorenzo", "Sorì Tildìn", and "Costa Russi" - are quite possibly the best produced in Italy and among the world's noblest red wines.  Over the past decade Angelo Gaja has really excelled with his Barbaresco - producing fabulous world-class wines in vintages such as 1982, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997,  1998, 1999, 2000 and this 2001.  The Piedmont has seen an unprecedented string of outstanding vintage from 1996-2001.  All three of Gaja's single cru Barbarescos rated a (95) or better in The Wine Spectator; in both 1996 & 1997 and in 1998 two of the three rated (95) or better, an incredible track record for the last three releases.  Generally of the three crus produced by Gaja, the Sorì San Lorenzo is the slowest maturing, the longest-lived, and the least approachable in its youth.  The Costa Russi is the most approachable when young, while the Sorì Tildìn falls between the two.

In The Gambero Rosso (the Italian wine Bible) Gaja is the only producer in the Piedmont with a rating of “Two Stars”, indicating the number of times his wines have received the coveted “Three Glass” award.  Gaja’s wines have received twenty-one (a star for every ten “Three Glass” wine).  They call Gaja “Here we are in the presence of what is undoubtedly the best Italian winery, to judge from the quality of its wines; colleagues and wine critics from all over the world admit as much.”

 

ALL the Gaja wines that we have available in the store:

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2019 GAJA CA'MARCANDA VISTAMARE
Price: $57.00       Your Price: $50.16

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2019 Gaja Alteni Di Brassica Sauvignon Blanc Langhe
Price: $153.00    Your Price: $134.64
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2020 GAJA ROSSJ BASS CHARDONNAY LANGHE
Price: $96.00       Your Price: $84.48
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2019 GAJA CHARDONNAY GAIA AND REY LANGHE
Price: $327.00    Your Price: $287.76

 

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2017 GAJA SITO MORESCO
Price: $57.75       Your Price: $50.82
2017 GAJA SITO MARESCO MAGNUM
Price: $172.50    Your Price: $151.80
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2018 2018 GAJA BARBARESCO 3 LITER
Price: $1447.50  Your Price: $1273.80
2018 GAJA BARBARESCO MAGNUM
Price: $675.00    Your Price: $594.00
2018 GAJA BARBARESCO
Price: $289.50    Your Price: $254.76
2017 GAJA BARBARESCO MAGNUM
Price: $679.50    Your Price: $597.96

 

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2017 GAJA BARBARESCO SORI SAN LORENZO
Price: $682.50    Your Price: $600.60

2016 GAJA SORI SAN LORENZO
Price: $682.50    Your Price: $600.60

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2017 Gaja Barbaresco Costa Russi
Price: $682.50    Your Price: $600.60

2016 GAJA COSTA RUSSI
Price: $682.50    Your Price: $600.60
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2017 GAJA BARBARESCO SORI TILDIN
Price: $682.50    Your Price: $600.60
2017 GAJA BARBARESCO SORI TILDIN MAGNUM
Price: $1680.00  Your Price: $1478.40
2016 GAJA SORI TILDIN
Price: $682.50    Your Price: $600.60
2015 GAJA SORI TILDIN
Price: $641.25    Your Price: $564.30

 

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2017 GAJA SPERSS LANGHE
Price: $375.00    Your Price: $330.00
 2017 GAJA SPERSS LANGHE MAGNUM
Price: $866.25    Your Price: $762.30
2015 GAJA SPERSS LANGHE
Price: $303.75    Your Price: $267.30
2014 GAJA SPERSS LANGHE
Price: $322.50    Your Price: $283.80          Quantity in Stock: 3

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2017 GAJA DAGROMIS BAROLO
Price: $100.50    Your Price: $88.44
2016 Gaja Dagromis Barolo
Price: $100.50    Your Price: $88.44
2010 GAJA DARMAGI CABERNET LANGHE
Price: $375.00    Your Price: $330.00

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2017 GAJA CONTEISA LANGHE NEBBIOLO
Price: $351.00    Your Price: $308.88
2017 GAJA CONTEISA LANGHE NEBBIOLO MAGNUM
Price: $810.00    Your Price: $712.80
2015 GAJA BAROLO CONTEISA
Price: $315.00    Your Price: $277.20
2014 GAJA CONTEISA LANGHE NEBBIOLO
Price: $372.50    Your Price: $327.80

 

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2018 GAJA CABERNET SAUVIGNON DARMAGI PIEDMONT MAGNUM
Price: $732.00    Your Price: $644.16
2018 GAJA CABERNET SAUVIGNON DARMAGI PIEDMONT
Price: $315.00    Your Price: $277.20
2017 GAJA CABERNET SAUVIGNON DARMAGI PIEDMONT
Price: $257.25    Your Price: $226.38
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2015 PIEVE DI SANTA RESTITUTA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
Price: $98.25       Your Price: $86.46
2016 PIEVE DI SANTA RESTITUTA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
Price: $84.00       Your Price: $73.92            Quantity in Stock: 2
2016 PIEVE DI SANTA RESTITUTA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO MAGNUM
Price: $225.75    Your Price: $198.66

 

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2016 PIEVE SANTA RESTITUTA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO RENNINA MAGNUM
Price: $495.00    Your Price: $435.60
2011 GAJA PIEVE SANTA RESTITUTA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO RENNINA
Price: $190.50    Your Price: $167.64          Quantity in Stock: 1
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2015 PIEVE DI SANTA RESTITUTA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO SUGARILLE
Price: $244.50    Your Price: $215.16

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2018 GAJA CA MARCANDA PROMIS BOLGHERI
Price: $45.00       Your Price: $39.60


2019 GAJA CA MARCANDA MAGARI MAGNUM
Price: $186.00    Your Price: $163.68
2019 GAJA CA MARCANDA MAGARI TOSCANA IGT
Price: $75.00       Your Price: $66.00
2018 GAJA CA MARCANDA MAGARI TOSCANA IGT
Price: $75.00       Your Price: $66.00            Quantity in Stock: 2
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2018 GAJA CA MARCANDA CAMARCANDA BOLGHERI
Price: $187.50    Your Price: $165.00
2018 GAJA CA MARCANDA CAMARCANDA BOLGHERI MAGNUM
Price: $467.50    Your Price: $411.40

 

Guiseppe Rinaldi

 

This rare offering of Rinaldi’s top cuvée which, through 1994, was the Brunate Riserva (100% Brunate) of the best vintages in the last 30 years in the Piedmont.  From 1993 on, this wine has been called Brunate-Le Coste and is made from approximately 60% Brunate and 40% Le Coste.  Finding these wines is not very easy as most of the estate’s production is quietly sold to longstanding private customers in Italy, Switzerland and Germany. 

As explained in the info below in the review by Antonio Galloni this Brunate-Le Coste wine will no longer exist due to a recent change in Piedmont wine law that states there can’t be less than 85% single vineyard to have that vineyard cru name on the bottle and you can no longer list more than one single vineyard cru name on the label.  The 2009 vintage was the last of the Brunate Le Coste making these older vintage wines even more valuable today as they will not be made like this in the future.

Updated Notes:  Law Changes and Rinaldi
The major thing I wanted you to know is that the wine we've known as BRUNATE-LE COSTE was made from 60% of Brunate and 40% of Le Coste fruit. That wine is now simply labeled as BRUNATE and is now an 85% Brunate, 15% Le Coste split. A BRUNATE labeled Barolo can only add a maximum of 15% non-Brunate fruit, per the new law. You cannot have two vineyard names on a label any longer in Barolo. If you produce your wine that way, you must create a "fantasy name" (i.e. "Tre Tine").. The production is now much less on this bottling from Rinaldi, I do not have exact numbers but I know that we are now getting a significantly lower percentage of cases imported to the US.

The wine we've known as CANNUBI-SAN LORENZO / RAVERA has historically been a blend of those two vineyards. Now, beginning with the 2010 vintage  that bottling is now called "TRE TINE" which means "three vats" and is a blend of those two areas (50% Ravera, 30% Cannubi/San Lorenzo  PLUS 20% of fruit from Le Coste)

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Wine Spectator Posted: September 4, 2018
By: Bruce Sanderson

Giuseppe "Beppe" Rinaldi, proprietor of the Giuseppe Rinaldi estate in the Italian wine appellation of Barolo, died September 2nd after recently being diagnosed with bladder cancer.

He was 69.

"Beppe Rinaldi was a special person, low-keyed, very knowledgeable about the history of the Barolo area and a staunch traditionalist, just like his father and grandfather," said Dominic Nocerino of Vinifera Imports, Rinaldi's New York importer, who began working with the estate in 1980.

Rinaldi, a veterinarian by profession, took the reins of his family's winery three decades ago after the death of his father, Battista. The Rinaldi family had first started selling grapes in the late 1800s; Rinaldi's grandfather, also Giuseppe, began bottling and selling wines in the 1920s.

Despite the changes occurring in the Barolo region in the 1980s and '90s, Rinaldi continued to make wines much like his father and grandfather had, blending crus to find a balance. He produced two cuvées, each a blend of vineyards, fermented in wooden vats and aged in large, neutral-oak barrels: Brunate-Le Coste and Cannubi San Lorenzo–Ravera.

When labeling laws changed with the release of the 2010 vintage, Rinaldi blended three of the vineyards, calling the wine Tre Tine, or "Three Casks," and bottled the Brunate separately. Known for their youthful austerity and ageability, Rinaldi's Barolos were pure and complex. Beppe's other nickname was “Citrico,” or “the acidic one,” for his directness and acerbic wit.

Rinaldi was joined in the Winery by his eldest daughter, Marta, an enologist, in 2008, and younger daughter, Carlotta, an agronomist, in 2012.

“The winery is in good hands with his children," Nocerino told Wine Spectator. "Beppe will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on in the wine world."

In addition to his daughters, Rinaldi is survived by his wife, Annalisa.

2017 GIUSEPPE RINALDI BAROLO BRUNATE 3 LITER
Price: $2550.00  Your Price: $2244.00
2017 GIUSEPPE RINALDI BAROLO BRUNATE MAGNUM
Price: $969.00    Your Price: $852.72
2017 GIUSEPPE RINALDI BAROLO BRUNATE
Price: $462.50    Your Price: $407.00
2017 GIUSEPPE RINALDI BAROLO TRE TINE MAGNUM
Price: $925.00    Your Price: $814.00

2017 GIUSEPPE RINALDI BAROLO TRE TINE
Price: $450.00    Your Price: $396.00
2016 GIUSEPPE RINALDI BAROLO TRE TINE
Price: $350.00    Your Price: $308.00          Quantity in Stock: 12
2016 GIUSEPPE RINALDI BAROLO BRUNATE
Price: $495.00    Your Price: $435.60          Quantity in Stock: 12
2015 GIUSEPPE RINALDI BAROLO TRE TINE
Price: $295.00    Your Price: $259.60          Quantity in Stock: 44
2013 GIUSEPPE RINALDI BAROLO TRE TINE
Price: $275.00    Your Price: $242.00          Quantity in Stock: 14
2012 GIUSEPPE RINALDI BAROLO BRUNATE 3 LITER
Price: $2100.00  Your Price: $1848.00        Quantity in Stock: 1
2005 GIUSEPPE RINALDI BAROLO BRUNATE LE COSTE
Price: $300.00    Your Price: $264.00          Quantity in Stock: 21
2005 GIUSEPPE RINALDI CANNUBI S. LORENZO RAVERA BAROLO
Price: $300.00    Your Price: $264.00          Quantity in Stock: 18
2003 GIUSEPPE RINALDI BRUNATE LE COSTE BAROLO
Price: $331.25    Your Price: $291.50          Quantity in Stock: 17