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  • Writer's pictureJohn Paul Kaminga

For the Cellar: Cantina del Pino 2016

Updated: Feb 25, 2022

Spring 2016 buds at Cantina del Pino
Spring 2016 buds at Cantina del Pino

We always look forward to new vintages from Cantina del Pino. They release Barbaresco a year later than most, so there's always a bit of anticipation, and when it comes to the 2016s, the wait has felt longer than usual. There have been so many great Nebbiolo vintages in Piemonte over the past 20 years (2002 and 2003 are the only really iffy years) but few will rival 2016. At Craft and Cru, we try not to hype any vintage too much, as we are quite convinced that terroir and its human stewards are much more important factors than the vagaries of a given growing season. There will be 2016s that are not worth your while, and there are 2002s that you should aspire to drink. All this said, the year on the bottle matters, it's just not as straightforward as a vintage chart might lead you to believe. If you like Barbaresco and Barolo, we would certainly encourage you to look into saving lots of the 2016 vintage, and to do so soon; the hype for the year is enormous, and some of your favorites may be hard to find. If Cantina del Pino is one of your faves, this is your opportunity. If you don't know Cantina del Pino, please contact us for help.

Meeting the people who make the wines we so cherish is quite possibly the best part of selling wine. It really brings things home. That the people who make your favorite wines can be even more beautiful than the wines themselves is something to hold onto. We've certainly loved many wines made by people we've never met, as have you, there is no question, but what if you found out that one of your most prized bottles was made by a bigoted jerk? Would that not color the experience? And if you know a winemaker to be good and kind, just as lovely in their character as in their bottles, won't you enjoy their company every time you pull a cork?

Renato Vacca, the great talent and passion behind Cantina del Pino, was one of the most thoughtful and gentle souls you could have met in the wine business. Renato was a vigilant farmer first, but he also did everything (we mean everything) in the winery. He was a man of Barbaresco, wholly dedicated to the viticulture and enology that made his home legendary. Since his first vintage, Renato's wines have been met with acclaim, and by now it is established that Cantina del Pino competes with the biggest names in the region. If you considers the amount of Barbaresco made at Cantina del Pino (in 2016, a little less than 2,000 cases, between the four cuvees) and the perennial worldwide encomium, you might start to wonder why their prices are so low. Renato's generous spirit goes a long way toward explaining that; audacious pricing did not fit his character. Today we offer Renato's 2016s with heavy hearts, as he passed away earlier this year, too young, at 51, survived by his wife and daughter. We process loss next to gifts when we consider the prospect of putting these bottles away for the future, but we know that one of the best ways to remember Renato will be to drink his wines, and save some for special occasions.

Mention this article, and we'll give you 15% off any 3 bottles of Cantina del Pino in stock right now. This offer is good until September 12, 2020. Availablility is subject to change, check out our online inventory to see what's in stock. Please send orders to

The 2016 vintage of Cantina del Pino Barbaresco will arrive in October. Pre-order 3 or more bottles (you can mix and match) to received the net pricing on offer. If you want anything, please let us know as soon as possible. This offer is good until October 1, 2020. Send requests to

The entry-level Barbaresco is a blend of sites: mostly Ovello, with some Starderi and Gallina. When it comes to the crus, Albesani is always fuller and riper, while Ovello is reserved and tense, and Gallina falls somewhere in the middle, usually the most open-knit and accessible wine in youth. One should expect each of the 2016s to be worth saving 20 years, though the crus, especially Ovello, are candidates for even longer aging. Note well that the Dolcetto d'Alba, and Barbera d'Alba are made from Ovello, and the Langhe Nebbiolo is a blend of Ovello, Starderi and Gallina.

2016 Barbaresco - $42 reg, $35 net, October arrival

2016 Barbaresco Albesani - $59 reg, $48 net, October arrival

2016 Barbaresco Gallina - $59 reg, $48 net, October arrival

2016 Barbaresco Ovello - $64 reg, $52 net, October arrival

2016 Barbaresco 1.5L magnum - $102 reg, $82 net, October arrival

2016 Barbaresco Albesani 1.5L magnum - $129 reg, $105 net, October arrival

2016 Barbaresco Ovello 1.5L magnum - $138 reg, $112 net, October arrival

2015 Barbaresco - $40, in stock

2015 Barbaresco Albesani - $52, in stock

2015 Barbaresco Gallina - $52, in stock

2015 Barbaresco Ovello - $56, in stock

2009 Barbaresco Ovello 1.5L magnum - $155, in stock

2018 Langhe Nebbiolo - $22, in stock

2018 Dolcetto d'Alba - $16, in stock

2017 Barbera d'Alba - $24, in stock


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