Pio Cesare 2019 Vintage

We are delighted to share the 2019 vintage report and wine reviews from famed Barolo and Barbaresco producer Pio Cesare. The Barolos and Barbarescos 2019 will be released in the UK in late April 2023. Please get in touch with your sales manager or with Valeria Maffeis on valeria.maffeis@mmdltd.co.uk to find out about our pre-release offer starting this month!


2019 is a very traditional vintage, characterised by good weather conditions throughout the growing season, excellent quality of the fruit and wines of great ageing potential. A very cold and dry winter was followed by high rainfall in March and April ensuring abundant water reserves in the soil.

May was characterised by unstable weather and cooler than average temperatures, leading to a delay in the vegetative growth of about 15 days compared to recent years, in line, however, with a more traditional trend for the Langhe region. The summer was characterised by milder weather than in recent years with average temperatures in the normal range and isolated heat peaks during late June and July.

June was warm, with temperatures above average only during the last ten days of the month and the first ten days of July. The warm weather, along with abundant water reserves in the soil, favoured lush vegetative development, a fundamental basis for perfect grape ripening. The second half of July was characterised by milder than average temperatures accompanied by a few thunderstorms. At the end of the month, the second heat wave of the summer was recorded, interrupted in the first days of August by intense, but not damaging thunderstorms.

The final part of the summer was marked by mild temperatures with sporadic rainfall and significant temperature fluctuations at night, particularly favourable for the perfect ripening of the grapes.The month of September and the first days of October were characterised by stable weather, particularly sunny days, sporadic rainfall and cool night temperatures. The achievement of optimum ripeness was slow and regular, a very important element for a grape variety such as Nebbiolo characterised by a very long vegetative cycle. Analyses carried out on the fermenting musts confirmed an excellent polyphenolic framework, very important for ensuring structure, character and longevity to Nebbiolo, and a high accumulation of anthocyanins, that makes the wines particularly bright in colour.

The Nebbiolo harvest began in the Barbaresco area on 10th October, starting with our Rocche Massalupo vineyard in the hamlet of San Rocco Seno d’Elvio in the commune of Alba, and continued over the next two days with the Bricco di Treiso vineyard; it ended on 16th October with the other estate vineyards located in Treiso (San Stunet and Bongiovanni). The harvest of Nebbiolo for Barolo began on 13 October at Serralunga d’Alba with the Briccolina and Ornato vineyards, which due to soil composition and aspect is always harvested first, followed by harvest in the vineyards of Serralunga d’Alba (Lirano and Serra), Monforte d’Alba (Mosconi), La Morra (Roncaglie) and ended on 20th October with the vineyard in Novello (Ravera).

The 2019 vintage, thanks to good weather conditions across a long growing season with no major temperature peaks and good water reserves in the soil allowed the Nebbiolo grapes to achieve perfect ripening without any stress, exalting the typical features of each vineyard, and revealing the great diversity that characterises every vineyard within Pio Cesare estates.

In conclusion, the 2019 vintage has a very traditional character, with wines that show great structure but retain great fruit concentration and floral character at the same time, along with balanced acidity, soft tannin and extraordinary aromatic complexity, all typical characteristics of great Barolo and Barbaresco vintages.


Barolo Pio 2019 – 96 points Susan Hulme MW @susanhulmeMW

2019 is shaping up to be a great vintage in Barolo and this Pio Cesare Barolo is a delightful example. The 2019 Pio Cesare Barolo has a very immediate and appealing nose of ripe strawberries warmed in the sun, dotted with cream, nut and spice notes. It has a beautiful, melting texture and super refined, perfectly ripe tannins. It is a classic Barolo in the old tradition of blending grapes from several different vineyard sites, in this case, three vineyards in Serralunga (Ornato, La Serra and Briccolina) as well as sites in La Morra, Grinzane Cavour, Novello and Monforte.  Among the sweet red fruit and spice is a little twist of iron and a distinctive mineral note which evokes the Ornato vineyard and adds an extra dimension. This 2019 Barolo has such an appealing, outgoing and charming personality but also the power to last. I particularly like the transformation that has taken place with the tannins –  they now glide gracefully across the palate.

Barolo Ornato 2019 – 97 points Susan Hulme MW @susanhulmeMW

This 2019 Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato is a distinctive and characterful single vineyard wine from Serralunga d’Alba, first produced in 1985. It is only made in the best years and from a selection of the best plots from the Ornato vineyard. The colour is an intense, youthful and blue toned ruby suggesting a low pH and higher acidity. The nose is beautifully incisive and persistent with seductive notes of violet and transparent, cool, red fruit such as raspberry, combined with a faint iron tonic aroma and distinctive mineral notes. On the palate there is a mouth-watering, tangy long finish with a range of flavours from raspberry, blood orange, orange peel and iron. This is an energetic and lively wine with a delicately balanced structure like fine bone china. I love its vibrant acidity, the finesse of the tannins and its distinctive personality.

Barolo Mosconi 2019 – 96 pts James Suckling

This is so curated and fine, with a tannin structure that is both sophisticated and racy. Medium to full body. Silky texture with a finish that just takes off. Rose stems and dark fruit, such as plums and strawberries. Some black truffles, too. These are from vineyards planted in 1960 and 1970. Try after 2025.

Barbaresco 2019 – 95 pts James Suckling

This is a very typical Barbaresco, with a solid core of fruit. Lots of strawberries, cedar and chewy tannins. Full and structured. Excellent length, with the tannins kicking in at the end. This needs at least four or five years of bottle age. Try after 2027.

Barbaresco Il Bricco 2019 – 97 pts James Suckling

A solid and powerful Barbaresco with fantastic depth of fruit and layers of tannins. Full and so deep and focused, with great length and structure. Bark, berry, mineral and deep terroir and gravitas. Try after 2027.

Barolo Mosconi 2019 – 96 pts James Suckling

This is so curated and fine, with a tannin structure that is both sophisticated and racy. Medium to full body. Silky texture with a finish that just takes off. Rose stems and dark fruit, such as plums and strawberries. Some black truffles, too. These are from vineyards planted in 1960 and 1970. Try after 2025.