Estate: Founded in 1881 by Cesare Pio, Pio Cesare has been producing wine consecutively through 5 generations and for over 135 years. Located in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy, the estate consists of 70 hectares [173 acres] of vineyards. The estate is headed by Pio Boffa, Cesare Pio’s great-grandson, his daughter, Federica Rosy, along with his nephew and cousin. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity of meeting Pio. Gregarious and expressive as his wines, with the belief that upon meeting you, you are considered family and always welcome at his home and winery.
The estate has vineyards in different locations; 32 hectares in Barolo, 27 hectares in Barbaresco and 10 hectares in other regions, including Alba. These vineyard sites were specifically selected as an expression of the family’s philosophy of crafting wines. Since its establishment, the family has a “strong belief in blending the different characteristics of each vineyard and region in order to produce wines that represent the styles of each appellation terroir as a whole, instead of individual sites. This was the classic method of producing Barolo, Barbaresco and the other classic wines at the end of the 19th century and it still remains our Family’s philosophy, today and in the future.” In addition to his dedication to preserving the individuality of each terroir, Pio is also a pioneer in bringing the Barbera grape to the forefront of Italian winemaking.
Their cellar is one of the few ancient cellars that are still in operation. Located in the historical center of the town of Alba, the cellar was built in the late 1700’s, and is delimited and surrounded by ancient Roman walls that date all the way back to 50 BC. The cellar actually occupies 4 different levels, one of which is lower than the Tanaro River. This unique phenomenon is intrinsic to the character of the wines the family has crafted over the many years: “The naturally constant temperatures and appropriate humidity of our cellars have been crucial for the style and quality of our wines over the years.”
Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from estate vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba (Ornato), Grinzane Cavour (Gustava), La Morra (Roncaglie) and Barolo-Novello (Ravera). A portion of grapes come “from other exclusive vineyards owned by growers, who have been providing grapes to the Pio Cesare family for Generations”. Vinified in stainless steel tanks, with skin contact for about 20 days. Aged in mid-toasted French oak for three years; 70 percent in 20 to 50 hectoliter casks, 30 percent in barriques.
Tasting Notes: Garnet with brick edges in colour, with aromas of rose, cherry and tarry earth. Muscular tannins frame cherry, strawberry, plum, blackberry, rose petal and a vein of tarry earth. Anise, dried cherry and soft spice linger on the lengthy finish. Complex and layered, elegant and silky, each sip melts away effortlessly.
Estate Bottled by Pio Cesare
$70 [average price] I paid €130 in a restaurant in Rome.
Enjoy now thru 2027
Rated 92 points by the Wine Advocate
Rated 90 points by Antonio Galloni
Rated 90 points by Wine Enthusiast