Looking back at the last decade, Piedmont is in its golden age and, for 140 years, Pio Cesare has consistently been one of the region’s, if not Italy’s, greatest names. All 5 generations at this historic estate have combined the best of the old and new in creating classically styled, elegant expressions of Nebbiolo.
The 2016 vintage has been described as ‘il sogno’ – ‘the dream‘. It was a textbook, late-ripening year, resulting in thrilling wines of extraordinary balance and finesse. Their 2016 Barolo ‘is a terrific example of the year’ as per Antonio Galloni, and a must-have for traditionalists. It is effortless – spiced black cherries, roses and earthy notes with big, fine-grained tannins and zesty acidity.
For fantastic value, look no further than 2017 Langhe Nebbiolo. It is Piedmont’s equivalent to Bourgogne rouge and often made from the same highly-regarded parcels as the estates’ Barolos and Barbarescos. It’s an incredible example of the poise and pedigree these entry-level Langhe wines can offer.
This family-owned domaine is based in Alba with their cellars built into the ancient Roman town wall. Dynamic and charismatic, the late Pio Boffa worked tirelessly to promote Piedmont. Pio was a ‘reference point’ for the appellation, as per Wine Enthusiast, and a strong advocate for the domaine’s classic Barolo and Barbarescos. He believed in blending various prime parcels to achieve greatness. Pio was quoted as saying, ‘blended Barolos and Barbarescos are the true expressions of Nebbiolo in their respective territories and denominations.’ His legacy continues with his daughter, Frederica, and his nephew, Cesare, who have taken over the running of this legendary estate.
Pio Cesare, Barolo 2016
‘Enticingly fragrant, this wine offers alluring scents of iris, rose, perfumed berry and wild herb. It’s full bodied and elegant, delivering crushed raspberry, juicy Marasca cherry, star anise and orange zest set against a backbone of taut, fine-grained tannins. Bright acidity keeps it balanced and lends intensity. Drink 2024–2036.’ – Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, 96/100 (Editors’ Choice)
‘Traditionalists happily fall back to this wine from Pio Cesare. This historic winery, now in its fifth generation and located within the city limits of Alba, takes care to shape a classic interpretation without too many extra bells or whistles. The fact that Pio Cesare now has the flashier Barolo Ornato and the newly created Barolo Mosconi, only gives more importance to this wine. The Pio Cesare 2016 Barolo offers deep, dark fruit with a mingling of spice, smoke, tar and smoke. This wine represents a blend of fruit from five comuni, or villages: Cascina Ornato, La Serra and Briccolina in Serralunga d’Alba; Gustava and Garretti in Grinzane Cavour; Roncaglie in La Morra; Ravera in Novello; and starting with the 2015 vintage, Mosconi in Monforte d’Alba. Drink 2023 – 2045.’ – Monica Larner, Wine Advocate, 95/100 (Jul 2020)
‘The 2016 Barolo is a terrific example of the year. Bright acids and veins of supporting tannins give the 2016 its super-classic feel. Sweet red cherry fruit, chalk, mint, dried flowers, cedar, anise and sweet pipe tobacco all grace this translucent, mid-weight Barolo. Best of all, the 2016 can be enjoyed with just a few more years in bottle. It is a gorgeous wine and a good relative value within Barolo. Drink 2024 – 2036.’ – Antonio Galloni, Vinous, 92/100 (Oct 2020)
Pio Cesare, Langhe Nebbiolo 2017
‘Here’s a fresh and tonic red wine to pair with white meat or pasta with cubed mozzarella and eggplant. The Pio Cesare 2017 Langhe Nebbiolo is lightweight and delicate. It shows a fine and silky fiber that glides clean over the palate. There is good freshness here and enough structure to pair with your favorite Italian dishes. Drink 2020 – 2023.’ – Monica Larner, Wine Advocate, 88/100 (Jul 2020)