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.
Pio Cesare own 52 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, one of the best vineyards in the Barolo area. In 1985, Pio Cesare decided to select a small quantity of Nebbiolo from three different plots within the vineyard to create a Barolo that reflects the characteristics of Serralunga soil. The soil here is poor and compact, resulting in a wine of great structure and ageing potential. “Ornato” is only produced in outstanding years.
This is a single-vineyard Barolo from very ripe grapes of three different plots of the famous Pio Cesare family’s Ornato Estate in Serralunga d’Alba, one of the top vineyards in the whole Barolo area. It is fermented in stainless steel with skin contact for 15 days and aged in mid-toasted French oak for 36 months, 70 percent in new barriques and 30 percent in 25 hectoliter casks.
This wine has great structure and concentration, with ripe fruit, soft tannins and tobacco. May be appreciated immediately, but with a very long life. It is produced in small quantities and only in excellent vintages.
Serve with red meat dishes, game or seasonal truffle, mature cheeses.
Serve at 16-18°C.
Decanter: 95 POINTS
May 7, 2019
“The fruit for this wine is sourced from Pio Cesare’s plots in the Ornato vineyard in Serralunga d’Alba. It has a big, bold palate impression with lovely fresh acidity framing a core of delicate red fruits and heavier plummy notes. The tannins are fine and chalky, and despite this vineyard’s reputation for producing heavily structured wines, it’s relatively light on its feet, juicy and moreish. Although delicious, it seems a waste to drink it so early in its life – I would leave it for at least another couple of years for all the elements to fully integrate and then decant after opening. Vinified in stainless steel before spending 18 months in barriques and a further 12 months in botti.”
JamesSuckling.com: 98 POINTS
January 25, 2019, James Suckling
“The aromas are so complex yet subtle with wet earth, mushrooms and dark fruits. Dried flowers as well. Full body, chewy tannins that are ultra-fine and powerful, yet there is a finesse and beauty to them as I said from barrel. Classic, great nebbiolo.”
Barolo DOCG, Piemonte