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 from family-owned vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba (Ornato), Grinzane Cavour (Gustava), La Morra (Roncaglie), Barolo Novello (Ravera), and Monforte d’Alba (Mosconi). The balance of the grapes comes from other exclusive vineyards owned by growers, who have been providing grapes to the Pio Cesare family for generations.
Vinification takes place in stainless steel tanks, with skin contact for about 20 days. The wine is aged in mid-toasted French oak for three years: 70 percent in 20 to 50 hectoliter casks; 30 percent in barriques.
A cold and rainy winter allowed water reserve to replenish fully. Budbreak was delayed by lower than usual temperatures during spring but a temperate and
sunny summer allowed for perfect ripening. 2018 can be considered a classic vintage, with grapes of excellent quality and yields slightly impacted by few areas that showed blind buds.
Aromas of spicy red cherries on a loamy underlay, together with savory twists of forest floor and walnut shell. Some orange rind, too. Full-bodied with very fine, firm and silky tannins and lots of long, focused fruit and spice flavor. Good structure for 2018. Needs a year or two to fully knit together. Best from 2024. (James Suckling)
Ideal with steak tartar, truffle, porcini dishes, duck, guinea fowl, veal, braised beef, cheese.
Serve at 16-18°C.
94 points – James Suckling
94 points – Jamie Goode
93 points – Wine Advocate, Monica Larner
90 points – Wine Spectator, Bruce Sanderson
Barolo DOCG, Piemonte