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 80 hectares located in several premium hill-side positions, selected for the exposure, soil composition and microclimate in the Barolo and Barbaresco regions. The wines are made 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.
In light of the impressive 2020 vintage, showcasing Nature’s resilience during a challenging time, Pio Cesare have decided to reintroduce their historical iconic label, representing a genuine “back to the origins” approach. Since the 1985 vintage, the family embraced the exciting challenge to make a white wine with body, structure, and longevity, harnessing the tremendous potential of the Langhe region’s terroir. They started by planting Chardonnay in the renowned Barbaresco region and expanded to Barolo. The name of this exceptional wine, Piodilei, carries deep meaning. Translating to “Pio for Her” in Italian, it pays tribute to the pivotal role women have always played in the Pio Cesare family. It symbolizes their remarkable character and unwavering determination, qualities synonymous with the distinctive Langhe terroir.
The grapes for Piodiles are sourced from family-owned Il Bricco di Treiso vineyard in the Barbaresco region and Mosconi vineyard in Monforte d’Alba in the Barolo region.
The grapes were picked in small baskets, then softly pressed at low temperature. The wine is fermentated in stainless steel tanks and aged in French oak barriques for 10 months, of which one third new.
A classical and traditional year with favorable conditions. The winter saw early and widespread snowfalls, providing ample water supply. The spring brought abundant rainfalls. The summer temperatures were moderate without extreme heat, and regular water storms allowed the grapes to grow in the Langhe region without stress. The harvest of the white grape varieties, including Chardonnay, began on September 1st. The vineyards used for producing Piodilei, located in the Barbaresco and Barolo regions, were harvested between September 1st and 5th. The Chardonnay grapes were fully ripe, healthy, and had balanced acidity, thanks to the favorable weather conditions during the summer.
Burgundian in style, this superior Chardonnay shows complexity on the nose and palate. Notes of apple, citrus, stone fruit and vanilla. It is full-bodied and creamy with ripe fruit and an attractive minerality and freshness on the finish.
Turbot, sea bass, veal chops, butternut squash and sage ravioli, lobster, scallops, roast chicken, guinea fowl.
Serve at 12-14°C.
97 points, James Suckling
The Pio chard is the most structured we have tasted, with plenty of phenolic structure and ripeness that gives it a newfound seriousness to be one of the best renditions of the grape in Italy. It comes mostly from the Mosconi vineyard in Barolo. A dense and layered chardonnay with lots of phenolic tension that gives it structure. Full and intense, with a powerful structure and a long finish. Serious. One for the cellar. Drink or hold.
93 points, Wine Advocate
Showing a newlabel design, the Pio Cesare 2020 Langhe Chardonnay Piodilei will be released in fall 2022. This is a beautifully soft and creamy expression with aromas of tropical fruit, toasted almond and poached pear. It offers terrific energy and vitality with a lot going on aromatically.
90 points – Vinous, Antonio Galloni
The 2020 Chardonnay Piodilei is a soft, open knit white to drink now and over the next two to three years. Light tropical accents, orchard fruit, white flowers, tangerine oil and a touch of French oak all open nicely in this supple Chardonnay. The Piodilei is about as good as it gets for Chardonnay in Piedmont.
Langhe DOC, Piemonte