||Barolo DOCG, Piemonte, Italy
||Aromas of spicy red cherries
Full-bodied with very fine, firm and silky tannins and lots of long, focused fruit and spice flavour
Founded in 1881 by Cesare Pio, the historic Pio Cesare estate is situated in Alba, at the heart of Piemonte. Now managed by the fifth generation, Federica Boffa and Cesare Benvenuto, the winery was pivotal in promoting Barolo in the UK during the 1950s. Pio Boffa, the founder's great-grandson, emphasized the significance of owning and cultivating land for quality wine production. He was instrumental in acquiring vineyards where Cesare Pio once sourced his grapes. Today, Pio Cesare spans 70 hectares in the Barolo and Barbaresco hills, producing wines that blend traditional and modern styles. The estate covers numerous municipalities in both wine regions.
The Pio Cesare family owns 30 ha across five communes in the Barolo region: Serralunga d’Alba (including Ornato, Serra, Briccolina, Lirano, and Colombaro), Monforte d’Alba (Mosconi), Grinzane Cavour (Gustava and Garretti), La Morra (Roncaglie), and Novello (Ravera). Barolo Pio is crafted from grapes from these sites to capture the essence of the Barolo appellation.
Grapes from various vineyards are combined and fermented in stainless steel tanks as per tradition. They undergo a 30-day maceration at high temperatures. The wine then ages in French and Slavonian casks (botti) ranging from 20 to 50hl for at least 2 years. A minor portion is aged in barriques, with one third being new.
2018 began with an extended winter and significant rainfall, replenishing the soil's water levels that had been depleted the previous year. The cold persisted until March, causing a slow start to the vine's growth phase, which normalized by month's end. Bud break was consistent without issues from late frosts. Spring saw regular rain and moderate temperatures, indicating a "classic" vintage development. Late May to early June experienced several storms and heavy rainfall, necessitating vigilant vineyard care. Flowering and berry set occurred under ideal conditions, hinting at a bountiful vintage. Green harvesting was essential for most varietals. The summer saw a steady growth, with temperatures spiking from mid-July, but consistent favorable weather allowed grapes to mature without hastening the harvest.
Ideal with steak tartar, truffle, porcini dishes, duck, guinea fowl, veal, braised beef, cheese.
Serve at 16-18°C.
94 points – James Suckling
94 points – Jamie Goode
93 points – Wine Advocate, Monica Larner
90 points – Wine Spectator, Bruce Sanderson