Established in 1881, Pio Cesare, now run by fifth generation Pio Boffa, was one of the very first producers to believe in the potential and quality of the great wines of Piemonte and to export to the UK. A ceaseless devotion to the individuality of each of the region’s wines informs Pio’s choices in the vineyards and cellar. He applies a ‘minimal intervention’ philosophy to wine making, creating wines that year after year, are ranked among the world’s best wines.
Barolo is a unique wine that encapsulates the wide spectrum of terroir of this exciting region. Frustrated by the fact that non-single vineyard Barolos are often described as “regular”, he decided to take action and defend the pride and joy of his region’s most celebrated wine by printing his request on his label: “Please, don’t call it regular”
The grapes come exclusively from his family’s owned vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba (Ornato, Collaretto, Lirano), Grinzane Cavour (Gustava and Carzello), La Morra (Roncaglie) and Barolo-Novello (Ravera).
The grapes are hand-picked, then gently pressed and fermented at 25° to 26°C. Vinification takes place in stainless steel tanks, with skin contact for 20-25 days. The wine is then aged in mid-toasted French oak for three years: 70% in 20 to 50 hectolitre casks; 30% in barriques.
Winter in 2015 began with heavy snowfalls in January which supplied the land with excellent water reserves. February was mild, bringing an early start to the growing cycle, a pattern which continued until harvest. Budding began earlier than 2014, with flowering taking place in the middle of May.
There was heavy rainfall between flowering and fruit set which was very beneficial later in the season due to drought and warm weather in late June and July. Thanks to this timely rainfall, and the snowfalls in January, the vines did not suffer undue water stress. Consequently, harvest took place about ten days earlier than 2014.
Green harvesting was targeted and precise. High temperatures meant that the crop was exceptionally healthy, with minimal impact from fungal disease. However, canopy management was important to protect the grapes from the sun’s rays.
Grapes achieved optimal maturity and ripeness, with good sugar concentration, balanced acidity and excellent structure, making 2015 an age-worthy vintage.
This vintage has extraordinary elegance, complexity and character. Silky and intense bouquet. Full body, great structure, right tannins, incredible ageing potential, precise and classic Nebbiolo style. The wine has sweet and very elegant tannins. It still needs one year in oak for the best maturation.
Ideal with steak tartar, truffle, porcini dishes, duck, guinea fowl, veal, braised beef, cheese.
Serve at 16-18°C.
James Suckling: 96 POINTS
“Complex aromas of smoke, ash and dark fruits with a precision and intensity. Layered and gorgeous. Loads of dark fruit and perfume. Full-bodied with round and wonderfully polished tannins. Wonderful length and richness. Goes on for minutes.
Try in 2023 but already good now.”
The Wine Advocate: 94 POINTS
“The 2015 Barolo is a beautifully balanced and tight expression of Nebbiolo that hits all the right spots on the palate, from the side of the mouth where you taste the acidity to the back where you get a sense of the wine’s structure and integrated tannins. That freshness could pair well with a steak in pepper cream sauce. Long skin maceration times are followed by oak aging, partially in botti with a smaller part in barrique.”
Wine & Spirits: 94 POINTS
“According to Pio Boffa, his team has worked for more than a decade to identify clones with smaller berries and clusters that give more consistent phenolic ripeness and allow them to pick earlier, which keeps alcohol levels moderate. They have also refined their oak regimen over the years, backing off their use of new French oak barriques in their Barolos so that just 20 percent of the wine rests in new barriques, the rest in large oak casks, for about 30 months. Their efforts show in Pio Cesare’s 2015 releases, some of the best we have tasted from this house. The 2015 Barolo is comprised of fruit from estate vineyards in five communes, including, for the first time, a small percentage from Monforte d’Alba’s Mosconi, acquired by the estate in 2014. It’s lively and long, with flavors of ripe red cherry and raspberry laced with subtle spice and bright notes of orange peel, the acidity drawing out the flavors into a balanced finish.”
Barolo DOCG, Piemonte