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.
Pio Cesare own 70 hectares of vineyards in the hills of Barolo and Barbaresco, including some of the prime sites for growing Nebbiolo including 16 hectares of the ‘Ornato’ vineyard in Serralunga d’Alba and 10 hectares in Mosconi in Monforte d’Alba, two of the best vineyards in the Barolo area. In December 2014, just a few days before Pio Boffa’s 60th birthday, the family added Mosconi to their vineyard holding. Mosconi is thought to be one of the true “grand crus” of the commune of Monforte d’Alba, itself one the most prestigious areas within Barolo.Its soils and microclimates allow Nebbiolo to grow exceptionally well and produce styles of Barolo with great structure, incredibly unique and distinctive aromas, and big opulent tannins that are accessible and ripen, silky and rich.
Adding this terroir to the family’s range offers an opportunity to strengthen, complement and enrich the style of the Barolo traditionally produced by Pio Cesare.
After pressing, the grape juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks at quite high temperatures and was left in contact with the skins for around 30 days. The majority of the wine was then aged in French oak traditional “botti” for around 30 months, while a small proportion is aged in barriques for the first 12 months.
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, and to express the typical features of each vineyard, and revealing the great diversity that characterises every vineyard within the Pio Cesare estate.
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 warm with isolated heat peaks during late June and July and intense but not damaging thunderstorms in the second half of July and August. 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 weather was then very stable and sunny until harvest with sporadic rainfall and cool night temperatures that allowed Nebbiolo to achieve gradual perfect ripeining. The Nebbiolo harvest began on 13th October.
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 vintages.
Macerated raspberries combine with wild roses and crushed chalk in this evocative wine that captivates from the first sniff. Mixed cherries emerge on the palate, dusted with anise, licorice and savory herbs, wrapping up with superfine tannins that build to an extended finish that I wish would never end (Jeff Porter, Wine Enthusiast).
Serve with red meat dishes, game or seasonal truffle, mature cheeses.
Serve at 16-18°C.
97 points Wine Enthusiast n.24 Top 100 Cellar Selections
Macerated raspberries combine with wild roses and crushed chalk in this evocative wine that captivates from the first sniff. Mixed cherries emerge on the palate, dusted with anise, licorice and savory herbs, wrapping up with superfine tannins that build to an extended finish that I wish would never end (Jeff Porter).
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.
Barolo DOCG, Piemonte