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.
An infusion of chinchona (China Calissaja and Succirubra barks) is macerated for 21 days in a small amount of the winery’s classic Barolo. The recipe then calls for a mixture of aromatic herbs, such as gentian roots, rhubarb, cardamom seeds, sweet and bitter orange, cinnamon and others, which all together compose the family recipe. After several weeks aging, the right amount of Barolo is added. After a light fining, the infusion is aged for four months in oak barrels, bottled, and after an additional aging of at least two months, it finally becomes Pio Cesare Barolo Chinato.
The ideal digestif made with China Calissaja and Succirubra barks that macerate in the estate’s classic Barolo for 21 days.The notes of gentian roots, rhubarb, cardamom seeds, sweet and bitter orange blend seamlessly with the purity of Nebbiolo and create an everlasting, rich finish.
Wine & Spirits: 91 POINTS
December 1, 2017, Stephanie Johnson
“Pio Cesare resumed production of Barolo Chinato in 2016 after a 60-year lapse, resuscitating the family recipe that had been safeguarded by Rosy Boffa, the founder’s granddaughter. It feels rich as Christmas cake, with heady aromas of mountain herbs and flavors of cinnamon, molasses and cardamom brightened by a spray of orange zest. Enjoy its warm flavors on a cold winter night alongside a dark chocolate dessert.”
The Wine Advocate: 91 POINTS
June 30, 2017, Monica Larner
“The base of the NV Barolo Chinato is Barolo wine from the 2012 vintage. Following local tradition (and using a secret recipe passed down five or six generations at the Pio Cesare winery), the wine is infused with cloves, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar. These family recipes are always left incomplete because local custom dictates that each family must keep a few ingredients secret. This is the perfect after-dinner drink with the alcohol and the medicinal flavors to wash the palate clean after a long meal. Barolo Chinato is said to kick-start the digestive process after dinner, although I’m not sure there is any science behind that claim. No matter: It tastes greats and makes for a refreshing conclusion to any evening.”