This historic family-owned estate is named after its founder Cesare Pio, who established the business in 1881. The winery is based in Alba, in the heart of Piemonte and is now run by Federica Boffa and Cesare Benvenuto, the fifth generation of the family. Pio Cesare developed Barolo’s reputation overseas in the 1950s by being one of the first producers to export the wine to the UK. The founder’s great grandson Pio Boffa was deeply convinced of the importance of cultivating and growing owned land to produce high quality wines and played a key role in the acquisition of vineyards in the same locations where Cesare Pio used to buy his grapes from. Today Pio Cesare owns 70 hectares in the hills of Barolo and Barbaresco and makes wines in a style that manages to balance the best of the old with the best of the new. The estate includes most of the municipalities in the Barolo and Barbaresco areas.
The grapes are sourced exclusively from family owned vineyards in Treiso (Il Bricco, San Stefanetto and Bongiovanni) and in San Rocco Seno d’Elvio (Rocche di Massalupo).
The grapes are hand-harvested, then gently pressed and fermented on the skins for 20 days at 25 to 26°C in stainless steel. 35% of the wine is then aged in mid-toasted French oak (a third new) for 30 months. The remaining 65% spends three years in 20 to 50 hectolitre casks.
2017 was both an extraordinary and exceptional vintage in the Langhe area producing high quality Barolo and Barbaresco of great elegance, concentration, power, structure and ageing potential. High temperatures did push the harvest earlier than usual but even though the vegetative cycle started much earlier than usual, it lasted for almost 185-190 days. In other “hot” vintages, such as 2003 and 2007, it lasted no more than 170 days. This extra time and Pio’s extremely meticulous green harvest made 2017 a year to be remembered for healthy grapes with high concentration of anthocyanins and polyphenols, rounder tannins and concentration of fruit.
Aromas of dried orange, berry and hazelnut with hints of dried flowers. Tar, too. Full-bodied with chewy tannins and a juicy finish. The tannins are very fine and integrated. Chewy and encompassing flow across the palate. Very structured. Try after 2024. (James Suckling)
Serve with red meat dishes, game or seasonal truffle, mature cheeses.
Serve at 16-18°C.
95 points – James Suckling
94 punti – Luca Gardini, Gardini Notes
93 points – Vinous, Antonio Galloni
92 points – Wine Advocate, Monica Larner
Barbaresco DOCG, Piemonte