94 Points "Pio Cesare's 2011 Barbaresco is gorgeous. The super-classic bouquet laced with sweet red cherry, orange peel, mint, spice and white pepper is enticing. Generous and layered on the palate, the Barbaresco captures plenty of the warm resonance that is so typical of the year. The 2011 is a blend of fruit from several sites in and around Treiso mostly done in cask. It is the more traditional of the estate's two Barbarescos and also less expensive than the flagship Il Bricco, but here I find more personality, charm and tons of the allure that makes Barbaresco so compelling. The 2011 should age gracefully for years based on its depth, but it is absolutely delicious today."
90 Points Year'sBestBarbaresco "One-third of Pio Cesare’s 2011 aged in French oak barriques, lending notes of vanilla, cinnamon and clove to the rich red fruit flavors."
90 Points "Cherry,licorice, menthol and tar aromas and flavors mark this a pure, racy red. Tight and reticent now, with intensity and length for the medium term. Best from 2017 through 2026."
92 Points "A red with beautiful clarity and purity plus dried strawberry, mushroom and dried flowers. Full body, fine tannins and beautiful fruit. Makes you want to drink it now."
90 Points "Pio Cesare's 2011 Barbaresco is a tight and compact Nebbiolo that reveals an attractive level of aromatic intensity and energy. This is a well-composed wine that delivers wild berry, toasted almond and black licorice aromas. Softer fruit flavors appear on the finish. The wine is almost ready to drink now and in the medium-term."
94 Points "Perfumed and structured, this opens with a beautiful fragrance of intense violet layered with bright raspberry and balsamic notes. The palate has nice depth, delivering juicy wild cherry accented with vanilla, cinnamon, mocha and a note of Mediterranean herbs. It’s nicely balanced with bright acidity and firm tannins that give it an age-worthy structure. Drink through 2030."
91 Points BEST OF THE YEAR "Carbon-black, this hides behind a formidable wall of smoky tannins, slowly yielding scents of pink grapefruit and black trumpets mushrooms, tea and forest floor. There's an elegant wine here; it just needs several years to mellow."
94 Points "Bright red cherries, plums, spices, orange peel, tobacco and leather are some of the many notes that meld together in the 2010 Barbaresco. Lifted and aromatic on the palate, the 2010 impresses for its balance and total sense of class. Firm tannins support the classic-feeling finish. All of the classic Nebbiolo signatures are on display. Pio Cesare's Barbaresco is made from three sites in Treiso."
93 Points Aromas of shaved chocolate, some nuts and red berries. Full body with compacted tannins that are soft and velvety. Serious intensity on the finish.Savoury. Black-truffle character. Chinese spices.
93 Points "Bright and floral, this wine is grounded in black, earthy tannins, providing a powerful bass to the treble of raspberry and herbs. The tannins are smooth and sleek, but also complex, their sweet root aspects adding enough grip to suggest this will age well over the next few years."
90 Points "The 2009 Barbaresco is an attractive wine to drink over the next few years. This is an especially big, rich wine for the vintage. Sweet tobacco, leather, spices, menthol and dried cherries wrap around the incisive, powerful finish. The aromas and flavors are already a touch forward, which suggests the 2009 is best enjoyed sooner rather than later."
90 Points "In true Nebbiolo fashion, the 2009 Barbaresco brings out all kinds of delicate nuances with licorice, tar, anisette and pressed rose. The wine shows elegance and nicely firming tannins that are smooth and fine. Pio Cesare has done a good job of taming down some of ripeness of the warm 2009 vintage."
91 Points "Juicy dark plums, tobacco, spicebox and leather all come together nicely in the 2008 Barbaresco. Proprietor Pio Boffa has crafted a lovely, mid-weight Barbaresco with enough juiciness to drink well for another decade, perhaps beyond."
92 Points "A firm red with spices and berries and hints of cherries. Roses. Very stony. Full and chewy."
90-92 Points "Moderately saturated medium red. Perfumed, high-pitched aromas and flavors of raspberry, redcurrant, rose petal, tobacco, orange peel and exotic spices. Juicy, dense and suave, with a light touch thanks to superb inner-mouth energy. Finishes firmly tannic, long and perfumed, with the structure for a slow evolution in bottle."
92 Points "This is racy and detailed, showing raspberry, cherry, floral and oak spice aromas and flavors. Taut and well-structured, with a lingering aftertaste of sweet fruit, spice and mineral."
90 Points "Ambitiously oaked, this wine emphasizes dark coffee and bitter chocolate scents in its tannins. The fruit itself has more than enough stamina to stand up to the toastiness of the oak: It takes a straight path of red cherry that rounds out the structure, finishing clean and dry. Recommended for the cellar, where it will gain complexity. Or, if you like the forward character of new oak, drink this now with a steak."
90 Points "Good full red. Aromas of dried flowers and menthol dominated by coffee oak; raspberry and currant slowly emerged with air. Sweet, lush and broad, with very good freshness of fruit. Finishes with substantial ripe tannins and good subtle length. 'Two thousand seven is a great, forward, rich, plummy vintage, but not '97-like,' notes Pio Boffa. 'You can drink the wines now with food but they will age.'"
92 Points "The 2007 Barbaresco is a gorgeous, inviting wine graced with exquisite dark fruit and a supple personality. Fine tannins frame the fruit through to the finish. The Barbaresco is already quite open and accessible, but the tannins remain a touch firm and there is enough freshness in the glass to suggest the wine will be even better in another year or two. This is a very typical 2007."
91 Points "The 2006 Barbaresco is an attractive, mid-weight wine. Red berries, sweet spices and crushed flowers are some of the nuances that emerge from this plump, juicy Barbaresco. With a little air, this is already drinking quite nicely. Sweet notes from new oak linger on the pretty finish."
90 points "The 2005 Barbaresco is a very pretty wine that combines elements of flowers, sweet spices and dried cherries in a firm, structured style."
92 points "The 2004 Barbaresco is a beautiful wine endowed with expressive aromatics and an attractive core of ripe red fruit. Subtle notes of spices, smoke, tar and licorice add complexity. The wine possesses outstanding length and refined tannins that will only become more elegant with further bottle age. ...Anticipated maturity: 2009-2024."
90 points "The 2003 Barbaresco is sweet and perfumed with pretty notes of smoke, flowers, cinnamon and ripe red fruit. This medium-bodied, focused wine offers outstanding length and remarkable freshness for the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2018."
90 points "The 2001 Barbaresco normale is a lovely effort that displays a classic, perfumed profile of roses, menthol, tobacco, wet earth and red fruits on a structured frame with excellent length and a nice sense of freshness on the finish. It should be at its best between 2009 and 2016. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2016."
93 Points "The 2011 Barbaresco Il Bricco is Pio Cesare's top Barbaresco, and, as the name implies, emerges from the top of the family's estate in Treiso. The Bricco also gets more barrique, although in recent years the malos have been done in steel rather than French oak, which gives the Bricco a greater element of classicism. Although less famous than either Barbaresco or Neive, Treiso is home to a number of stellar vineyards. The reality is that this fruit needs very little makeup. Powerful, rich and structured, the 2011 Bricco possesses explosive energy and firm tannins that need time to soften. A host of dark spice, iron, smoke, French oak and tobacco wrap around he intense finish."
92 Points "Offers pretty aromas of cherry, rose and cola, with menthol, tar and tobacco flavors. The refined texture is supported by a firm grip, which should allow this to age well. Presents a fresh, racy finish. Best from 2018 through 2030."
96 Points #73 of 2015 Top Italian wines "Lots of dark berries and flowers plus hints of fresh mushrooms. Full body with ultra-fine tannins and a finish that lasts for minutes. Dense and racy. Perhaps the best Il Bricco ever?"
92 Points "Boasting an elaborate style, the 2011 Barbaresco Il Bricco delivers a soft and luscious interpretation of Nebbiolo. It's a wine with a modern approach and soft, enriched contours. The wine is aged in barrique for 18 months and then settles in large oak casks for one more year. It stands out for the density and vigor of its fruit. This Barbaresco finishes with pretty tones of ripe fruit, tobacco and tarry resin."
91 Points "Balanced and elegant, this red evokes cherry, rhubarb, tobacco, tar and white pepper hints. Linear and firmly structured, with dusty tannins on the finish. Best from 2017 through 2029."
92+ Points "The 2010 Barbaresco Il Bricco is quite a bit deeper than the straight Barbaresco. Dark red stone fruits, menthol, spices, leather and cedar are all laced together in a powerful, textured Barbaresco built on volume. It will be interesting to see if the 2010 opens up with more time in bottle. I suspect it will. Pio Cesare has made significant strides in quality over recent years. The Bricco appears to still be a bit of a work in progress. In 2010, the Bricco was aged approximately 75% in cask and 25% in barrique."
92+ Points "High-pitched aromas of cherry and rose petal. Then juicy and imploded in the mouth, showing noteworthy clarity and energy to its red berry, red cherry and minerals flavors. This is very tightly wound today and has fruit of steel, yet it doesn't come off as hard. Finishes with a subtle medicinal quality and very good grip. (A second bottle of this wine was a bit smoother and sweeter, but with lovely vinosity, and it showed a much stronger component of coconutty oak; this bottle merited 92 points.)"
95 Points "Subtle, complex aromas of flowers, minerals and blueberries. Dark cherries, too, and maple leaves. Full body yet tight and compact with super-fine tannins and a tangy, intense finish. It lasts for minutes. Hints of new wood. Better than 2008: more layers of fruit. Will melt together wonderfully. Try in 2018."
93 Points "Dark raspberries, flowers, mint, licorice and cinnamon all flesh out in the 2009 Barbaresco Il Bricco. Fresher and more vibrant than the straight bottling, the 2009 impresses for its juiciness and generosity. This beautiful Barbaresco from Pio Cesare will drink well for the next decade, perhaps beyond."
92 Points "A modern muscle is flexed with the 2009 Barbaresco Il Bricco that shows more evident oak spice on the bouquet. Juicy layers of dark fruit and dried cherry are pressed between layers of spice, cardamom and toasted almond. The tannins are on the sweet side and are surrounded by thick layers of ripe fruit. It’s a wine with a very likeable and approachable personality."
94 Points "The 2008 Barbaresco Il Bricco is impressive. It boasts a serious core of fruit backed up by equally imposing yet well-balanced tannins. Despite its voluptuous, expressive fruit, the Bricco is a wine that truly captures the cool, insistent minerality that is the hallmark of the vintage. There is serious structure here..."
93 Points "Smoky and polished, this modern-style Barbaresco boasts cherry, plum, vanilla and bacon fat aromas and flavors, with licorice and tar notes underneath. ... Fine length."
92+ Points 92(+?) Points - "Deep full red. Much deeper and more brooding on the nose than the classico, showing burnished, slightly medicinal aromas of redcurrant, raspberry and white truffle. Deep, rich and hugely ripe if a bit youthfully imploded, with nicely integrated acidity. At once chewy and fine-grained, and strong on the finish. This wine has a fairly low pH of 3.28, according to Pio Boffa, and should age extremely well."
93 Points "The 2007 Barbaresco Il Bricco is a powerhouse. Layers of black cherries, espresso, mocha and spices emerge from this large-scaled, powerful wine. The oak is beautifully integrated in this vintage, always an excellent sign for how the wine is likely to evolve over the coming years. There is plenty going on in the glass, as this dark, mysterious Barbaresco continues to develop with air. This is another strong showing from Pio Cesare."
91 Points "Fragrant, delivering sandalwood, incense and floral aromas as cherry and plum notes emerge on the palate. This is open and lush, despite its dense tannins. Very suave and harmonious, needing time to really come together. Excellent finish."
91 points "The 2005 Barbaresco Il Bricco is a very elegant wine. Layers of perfumed dark red fruit, spices, French oak and roses come together with notable depth on a classic, sturdy frame of impeccable balance."
94 Points "The single vineyard 2004 Pio Cesare Barbaresco II Bricco was also a rock star, with a sexy, full-bodied, yet elegant style that was hard to resist. Loaded with classical notes of violets, dried flowers and spice, it was surprisingly open and ready to go."
94 points, #65 of To "Il Bricco is a blockbuster wine with extraordinary intensity and impressive concentration. It's a dark, spice-driven wine with oak aromas of vanilla, cinnamon and powdered spice backed by black currants, forest berry, pressed flowers, curry and turmeric. Austere and brooding, it’s the kind of wine you’ll want to pair with a heavy winter dish that can stand up to its thick, luscious mouthfeel."
92 points "It bursts from the glass with tons of fruit and a generous, expansive personality buffered by firm, yet elegant tannins. The wine offers outstanding potential, yet it also requires cellaring before offering its finest drinking. ...The oak is especially well used in the 2004, and this is a very beautiful Barbaresco. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024."
89 points "The single-vineyard 2003 Barbaresco Il Bricco is made in big, powerful style loaded with dark fruit, spice and sweet toasted oak....Anticipated maturity: 2008-2018."
91 Points “New oak closes this off with chocolate richness, but it doesn’t hide the powerful minerality and the black plum-skin character of the fruit. Candied rose-petal scents balance the soil-driven qualities of the wine, leaving a sense of harmony. Designed to age 10 years or more.”
91 points "The 2001 Barbaresco Il Bricco, from a vineyard in Treiso, is richer and rounder, with sweet notes of vanilla, toasted oak, earthiness and a lovely core of fruit framed by a balsamic note on the finish. It, too, will benefit from a few years of additional cellaring and will mature later than the normale. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2021."
90 Points "The 2013 Barbera d'Alba is bright, floral and punchy, with plenty of bold red fruit. Flowers, white pepper and mint add an attractive upper register of freshness and vivacity. Drink this refined, polished Barbera over the next few years. The 2013 was done mostly in cask, with a brief passage of 6 months in French oak barrels."
90 Points "Superripe plum, dark chocolate, spicecake and black olive on the rather modern nose. Generous, pliant and sweet, with rich dark fruit and chocolate flavors complicated by saline minerality and a hint of olive tapenade. Harmonious acidity and fine-grained tannins lengthen this smooth wine's finish. Nuanced and interesting barbera."
92 Points "The 2013 Barbera d'Alba Fides emerges from a small vineyard in Serralunga. Dark red cherry, plum, smoke and licorice abound. Dark, fleshy and quite primary, the Fides possesses notable purity of fruit and terrific overall balance. The 2013 was done mostly in cask, with a brief passage of 6 months in French oak barrels."
94 Points "Perhaps the greatest Fides ever made. So much depth and richness. Full and layered with velvety tannins. Long and intense. Mineral, stone and peach-pit character. A single-vineyard Barbera with tiny yields and small production. Goes on for minutes. Don't miss this. Drink now."
93 Points "This is a a great single-vineyard Barbera from Serralunga d'Alba. Such depth and power, yet it's balanced and very, very long. Super wine. Only two hectares and small production. Fabulous finish."
91 Points "Dark red cherries, plums, cloves, menthol and leather flesh out in the 2012 Barbera d'Alba Fides. Pliant and expressive on the palate, the 2012 is built on aromatics, texture and gorgeous fruit. Stylistically, the 2012 is quite a bit more lifted than it has been in the past. Here, too, the flavors are remarkably alive."
90 Points "Dominated by a veneer of resinous oak, this is lively, with a core of cherry flavors. On the oaky side, gaining polish and balance with air. Long and juicy, but not for purists. Drink now through 2018."
90 Points "A sweet, spiced bouquet leads to black cherry, blackberry, cloves and leather in Pio Cesare's 2011 Barbera d'Alba Fides. The French oak is better balanced than it has been in the past, which allows the fruit to shine. This supple, resonant Barbera is delicious today and should continue to drink well for a handful of years."
93 Points "Wow! Aromas of dark chocolate, walnuts and blueberries. This wine has a full body with superb richness and huge power. It lasts for minutes on the palate and is chewy yet fresh. This is a wonderful, sexy bottle of Barbera from a vineyard called Colombaro next to Pio Cesare's great Barolo vineyard of Ornato in Serralunga d'Alba."
95 Points Incredible vanilla and spice from the oak. Floral nose of rose and liquorice. Tannins are evident, but well integrated with good acidity. Amazing complexity with luscious summer fruit pudding character and exemplary length.
"Outstanding" "...one of the best modern Barbera D'Albas, with subtle scents, serious tannins and the fresh acidity of the variety, ensuring long life and an ageworthiness that most Barbara d'Alba wines lack."
90 Points "Pio Cesare’s 2010 Barbera d’Alba Fides is quite beautiful in this vintage. Raspberry jam, cloves, mint and licorice meld together in a voluptuous, seamless Barbera supported by the vibrant acidity of the year. The fruit has more than enough structure to stand up to the French oak, something that hasn’t always been the case. The French oak is evident, but it is better integrated than it has often been in the past."
89 Points "The 2009 Barbera d’Alba Fides is another attractive wine. Juicy plums, dark red berries, flowers, spices and French oak all come together in this juicy Barbera."
92 Points "Good deep red-ruby. Ripe aromas of currant, coffee, mocha, licorice and minerals. Rich and mellow, with dark currant and chocolate flavors complicated by an intriguing yeasty nuance. At once chewy and refined. Finishes with substantial mouthdusting tannins and a touch of anise."
91+ Points "The 2007 Barbera d’Alba Fides is one of the best versions of this wine I can remember tasting. It is also unusually closed and tight for the vintage, but over time layers of ripe, perfumed fruit emerge with superb clarity and precision. The Fides reveals gorgeous persistence on the palate and terrific overall balance."
89 points "The 2006 Barbera d'Alba Fides is a dark, brooding wine loaded with ripe dark fruit, tar, smoke and French oak. This is an especially dark, sensual Barbera. Sweet, perfumed notes linger on the long finish. The Fides is very strong in 2006."
90 points "The 2005 Barbera d'Alba Fides is a soft-textured, caressing Barbera with beautiful aromatics that meld into a palate of ripe red cherries, spices and flowers. This medium- bodied, supple Barbera offers notable harmony. It should continue to drink well for several years. ...Anticipated maturity: 2008-2012."
88 Points "Oak gives a cocoa scent to round the cherry fruit of this lush barbera. It's soft and easy to enjoy, especially with long-braised meats, like boar stew."
94 Points "Pio Cesare has produced a small miracle with the 2012 Barolo. In a vintage that saw many nondescript wines, this Nebbiolo is bursting with energy and personality. The bouquet opens to an exciting sense of freshness with bright cherry and wild berry at the forefront. You also get balsam herb and mint, with cola and licorice in generous supply at the back. The wine should evolve slowly over the next ten years. Hats off to Pio Cesare for creating a standout base Barolo in 2012. I apologize in advanced for referring to this wine as a "base" Barolo, as I know this is something that the folks at Pio Cesare fight hard to discourage. Perhaps the word "classic" is more appropriate, as the wine offers the crisp and clean wines that are characteristic of traditional Barolo."
90 Points "Aromas of oak extract, toast, red berry and espresso wrap around this structured wine. The firm palate offers up sour cherry, ground pepper and licorice alongside assertive, fine-grained tannins."
92 Points "Cherry, rose, licorice and tar flavors are caressed by new oak in this re fined Barolo. The tannins build up a little by the finish, but overall this is elegant and long. Best from 2018 through 2029."
92+ Points "The 2011 Barolo offers a classic approach to Nebbiolo and has done so consistently for decades. Pio Cesare is a benchmark producer with a production philosophy that remains the same year after year, thus giving ample room to vintage variation. This handsome edition presents a dark fruit profile with black cherry and cassis. The wine evolves slowly in the glass to reveal tarry notes of licorice and light spice. Its delineated and focused approach is reinforced by its streamlined mouthfeel and delicate complexity. Pio Cesare has produced 80,000 bottles of its base Barolo."
92 Points "This red exudes sweet cherry flavors in addition to vanilla and toast elements from the light oak treatment. Elegant and persistent, with a bright beam of acidity, refined tannins and an aftertaste of iron, mineral and spice. Best from 2017 through 2028."
93 Points BEST BUY OF THE YEAR "When I tasted this wine in Alba this past May, it stood out as one of the best Barolo normale of the vintage. And it performed exceptionally well in our most recent tastings, expanding from a tight aroma to a big, open crescendo of flavor, from tart strawberry to orange peel, leather, forest floor mushrooms and deep anise-scented tannins. It's focused and pure. A classic."
94 Points "Structured and powerful, it features aromas of underbrush, leather, spice, plum cake and subtle oak. The concentrated palate delivers juicy black cherry and red raspberry accented with notes of espresso alongside tightly packed tannins and fresh acidity. Give it time to unwind. "
93 Points "Pio Cesare's 2010 Barolo is terrific. Dark red cherries, plums, lavender, smoke and savory herbs open up in the glass, followed by hints of orange peel and white pepper that add both lift and a hugely appealing element of exoticism. The firm, incisive tannins are going to need a few years to settle down. There is a lot to like in this classic, old-school leaning Barolo. The 2010 was made from less well-exposed parcels in Ornato, along with parcels in Collareto and Briccolina, both of which are in the same general area of Serralunga, plus dollops of fruit from La Morra and Grinzane Cavour, virtually all of it estate fruit."
95 Points "The 2010 Barolo is a great fall back wine for those who want to know the flavor profile of a classic,well-made Barolo. This is a textbook wine, especially in the exceptional 2010 vintage. Black fruit and prune is folded together with delicate tones of cigar ash, crushed mineral, licorice, white truffle and dried raspberry. The tannins are firm, but polished and the wine leaves a lasting imprint of dark fruit and cola on the elegant finish. Drink: 2016-2028."
94 Points “A fascinating aromas of crushed berries, flowers and light hazelnut. Roses. Violets. Full bodied and super structured with wonderful length and powerful. So much depth to this. Incredible. Savory. Better in 2016 but hard not to drink it.”
92 Points "The 2009 Barolo fleshes out in the glass nicely. Smoke, tobacco, worn-in leather, spices and menthol all take shape in a broad, large-scaled Barolo endowed with serious depth. Firm yet nicely-integrated tannins support a voluptuous, creamy finish endowed with serious depth. The 2009 can be enjoyed now, but it also has more than enough depth to drink well for the next decade-plus."
92 Points "There's an impressive purity of fruit with strawberry character and hints of cream and flowers. White pepper too. Full body, with polished, integrated tannins and a long flavorful finish. Beautiful fruit. Nougat with fruit. Orange peel. Polished and refined."
93 Points "Pio Cesare offers two very distinct expressions of Barolo. The first, the 2009 Barolo, shows classic lines and elegant characteristics of mild spice and forest berry backed by dried ginger, blue flower and anise seed. Its tight, crisp and finely textured mouthfeel appeal to those with a preference for traditional Barolo. Again, this producer has done a good job managing the warmer vintage conditions."
90 Points "A hard edge underlies this cherry-, strawberry- and herb-flavored red ... shows balance, with a long, elegant finish."
92 Points "Sweet rosemary, licorice and red berries waft from the glass in Pio Cesare’s 2008 Barolo. This is a fairly approachable vintage for the estate’s Barolo. Firm, young Nebbiolo tannins frame the long finish. ...the 2008 should provide plenty of enjoyment on the near and medium term."
94 Points Cellar Selection "Pio Cesare is on a roll producing vintage after vintage of excellent Barolo. This shows enormous intensity and beauty with perfumed layers of pressed flower, wild berry, vanilla and spice. It boasts a dark, bold appearance and tight tannins that are supported by an excellent quality of fruit."
93 Points "Wonderful aromas of dried roses and berries with hints of peach pit and plums. Lively and focused with plenty of fruit and a lovely line of tannins to it. Drink now or give it two or three years to soften."
90-92 Points "Moderately saturated medium red. Red cherry, marzipan, minerals and underbrush on the nose; perfumed... Finishes with dusty, serious tannins, a savory chewy quality, and lingering notes of red cherry and camphor. Like the Barbaresco, this displays the energy of the vintage's better examples."
90 Points Best Buy "Spicy and bright with red fruit flavor, this is underlined by nebbiolo's sneaky tannins. They come on with an iron grip, then open to scents of roses. This is powered by alcohol, but well within the bounds of balance. Cellar it several years then decant for braised duck."
90 Points "This round red is full of sweet cherry and plum flavors, with hints of licorice and spices. The richness is offset by dense tannins..."
91+ Points 91(+?) Points - "Good deep red. Very closed but pure nose offers currant, marzipan, mocha and a whiff of truffle. Quite sweet on the front half and almost surprisingly round and opulent. Then turns more dry and classic toward the back, finishing with serious, dusty, fine-grained tannins."
93 Points "The 2007 Barolo is inviting, sweet and open, yet has plenty of underlying tannins to provide support. It shows terrific balance in a style that reconciles the traditionalist leanings of this bottling with the ripe quality of the year. Sweet hints of tobacco, spices, leather and herbs add complexity on the textured yet grippy finish. Pio Cesare’s straight Barolo doesn’t seem to get the attention or spotlight it deserves, but it has truly been one of Piedmont’s under the radar jewels for some time."
95 Points Cellar Selection "Pio Cesare and the 2007 vintage marry beautifully to produce a layered, opulent, textured, rich wine that is bursting with zesty red fruit, sassy spice, leather and toasted espresso bean. What really sets this wine apart is the dense smoothness of its texture. Save this bottle in your cellar 10 years or more."
91 Points "Sweet and spicy, displaying a viscous texture that envelops the cherry, menthol and allspice notes. Firm, upright tannins on the finish keep this honest, and the spice lingers, along with notes of mineral."
Wine of the Week "It's a fine example of classic Barolo and at a very good price for the quality. Fresh and round, it has a chiseled structure and wonderful balance. No need to wait on this one unless you want to: It's drinking beautifully now, superb with a roast duck or brasato (beef braised in red wine)."
94 Points "The 2006 Barolo offers up a super-classic profile of tar, roses, raspberries and licorice, all wrapped around a firm core of tannins. Fresh and vibrant throughout, the Barolo impresses for its superb balance and poise. ... This is a magnificent, impeccable Barolo from Pio Cesare, but it will be even better in a few years."
4 Stars "Slightly closed, but a large-scale wine with tons of Nebbiolo character. Give it time."
91-93 points "Good deep red. Sweet but lower-toned aromas of mocha and nuts. Powerful, broad and rich, with a plush texture to the flavors of plum, coffee and mocha. There's something distinctly old school about this wine and yet there's a pliancy to the middle palate. Finishes with suave, building tannins that reach the front teeth."
91 points "The estate’s 2005 Barolo is pretty and sensual in its dark fruit, menthol, spices and licorice. This mid-weight Barolo reveals gorgeous balance and a long finish and a relatively accessible personality for this bottling."
93 Points "Here’s a beautifully crafted, oak-driven wine that needs at least four or five more years of cellar aging before it reaches true harmony and balance. The wine’s aromas are focused on Indian spice, vanilla, toasted nut and plush blackberry. It tastes bright and fresh but has the natural complexity to promise great things to come."
#6 of Top 100 Wines "This big, juicy, chewy wine is one of Piedmont's most reliable and widely available quality blended Barolos. Pio Boffa represents the fourth generation to run this estate, located in the heart of Barolo's capital of Alba. He sources Nebbiolo grapes from the winery's own vineyards in the Serralunga d'Alba commune and supplements them with grapes from trusted suppliers in the region."
93 points "The estate's 2004 Barolo is very elegant in this vintage. Although the wine is firm and quite primary, the tannins are sweet, silky and refined. Today the wine reveals just a glimpse of its potential but it should develop into a gem with time. While most of the attention at Pio Cesare goes to the Barolo Ornato, this is the hidden beauty in this lineup. ...Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024."
94 points, Highly Re "Extremely attractive aromas of blackberry, fresh mushroom and mahogany. Full-bodied, with lovely fruit, soft tannins and a long finish. Chewy, yet balanced and pretty. Builds on the palate. A big and juicy red. Best after 2010."
92 Points "Has fabulous blackberry and mineral, with hints of toasty oak. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a long, long finish. Very concentrated, yet racy and structured...Gorgeous. Best after 2009."
91 points "The 2003 Barolo is a terrific effort and once again demonstrates the advantage of blending fruit from various sources, especially in challenging vintages. Initially reticent, the wine gradually opens to reveal gorgeous notes of smoke, tar, roses and scorched earth on a linear, classically-built frame. This pure, sweet Barolo offers outstanding balance, well-integrated tannins and an engaging personality....Anticipated maturity: 2010-2023."
90 points "Made from a blend of parcels in various parts of the zone, the house's 2001 Barolo normale offers a classic, somewhat austere profile. It opens with a pretty, balsamic nose that is followed by sweet dark fruit and tar flavors that develop in the glass with notable length, persistence and freshness on the finish. It will drink well to at least age 20. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2021."
91 Points "The 2000 Barolo has a very classic feel to it. Hints of rose petal, spices, licorice, and tobacco lead to red cherries and flowers in this delicate, subtle wine. The fruit unfolds beautifully through the mid-palate and finish. This is an impressive, totally delicious Barolo."
95 Points, non-blind
"This was the magazine’s No. 7 wine in the Top 100 in 2001. And it is holding on beautifully. It shows aromas of tar and black berries with an underlying minerally character. It’s full bodied, with ultra-fine tannins and a long finish. Gorgeous. And they made over 6,000 cases of this! Drink now or hold.
The interesting thing is that Pio Boffa thinks that the 2000, 1997 and 1978 all have a lot in common and that they were all from very hot years. I think his 1997 will age as well, if not better, than the 1978 and the 2000 might be better than the two."
91 Points "Aromas of underbrush, scorched earth and dark baking spice lead the way on this firmly structured wine. The tense, full-bodied palate delivers dried black cherry, licorice, leather and tobacco supported by bracing, fine-grained tannins."
93 Points "Lean and taut, with cherry, strawberry, leather and tobacco flavors fused to a burr of tannins. Though compact on the finish, where accents of vanilla and spice linger, this builds pleasantly, remaining fresh and long. Best from 2018 through 2028."
93 Points "Pio Cesare's 2011 Barolo Ornato is an opulent and exuberant wine that delivers all the fullness, roundness and soft ripeness of the vintage. Ornato is designed as a softer expression of Nebbiolo (it sees 18 months in barrique plus one year in traditional oak cask). This richer style suits the wine very well in 2011. It peels back to reveal deep layers of black cherry, blackberry preserves, spice and leather. It will lose some of its baby fat with five years or more in the cellar."
97 Points #46 of 2015 Top 100 Wines "A complex and complete wine with black cherry, mushrooms, wet earth and plum. Full-bodied, yet so refined and caressing in texture. Wonderful length and beauty. You want to drink it now but it will give so much more in the future."
94 Points "Discreet nuances of vanilla and toast accent the core of cherry, raspberry and floral in this elegant, yet firm Barolo. Beautifully balanced, complex and long, with leather, tar and mineral elements emerging on the finish. Best from 2017 through 2028."
91 Points BEST OF THE YEAR "From three estate blocks in Ornato, the Serralunda d'Alba cru, this spends three years in French oak (70 percent in new barriques, the rest in large format casks). The oak influence troubled some of our panelists, but I found it integrated, with plenty of fruit to last beyond the wood in dark cherry and anise flavors. The tannins are powerful even as they feel lean and elegant, creating a sleek, aerodynamic Barolo needing ten years to reach its cruising altitude."
91 Points "From one of Barolo's most storied houses, this concentrated wine opens with aromas of toasted oak, espresso, red berry, leather and baking spices. The palate offers up sweet oak, vanilla, toasted notes, mocha, roasted coffee bean and juicy black cherry alongside bracing tannins."
96+ Points "The 2010 Barolo Ornato is quite possibly the best wine I have ever tasted from Pio Cesare's hillside site in Serralunga. Exotic, beguiling and constantly changing in the glass, the 2010 Ornato races across the palate with compelling nuance, brightness and energy. Red stone fruits, crushed rocks, orange peel, spices and white pepper all blossom from the glass in an exotic Barolo full of allure. The 2010 captures all of the mystique of what Serralunga is all about. This is a fabulous showing from Pio Boffa and the team at Pio Cesare."
94 Points "Executed in a bolder style, the 2010 Barolo Ornato is born in the Serralunga d'Alba township where Nebbiolo tends to show more structure, power and density. Indeed, the richness smoothness and overall opulence of the 2010 vintage is irresistible. This is an elegant and articulate wine that boast a long aromatic range, spanning from berry fruit to ethereal balsam oil. Yet, all the while, it shows the spicy endnotes and softness of barrel aging. Barolo Ornato is aged in new barrique (70%) and large casks. It's almost ready to drink out of the gate. Drink: 2015-2018."
96 Points Top 100 of 2014 "This is amazing character in the nose with tar and earth and floral character. Fruit too. Pure. Full body, with fantastic polished tannins and a finish that goes on for minutes. Great finish with ripe tannins and fruit. Serious wine. What a finish. Try in 2017."
92+ Points "Good bright red. Deeper-pitched but less expressive than the normale, offering scents of plums, red cherry, currant, menthol and spices. Suave on entry, then nicely floral and fine-grained in the mouth, with enticing sweetness to the red cherry and redcurrant fruit flavors. Larger scaled than the house's Barbaresco II Bricco but also more backward and muscular today. This needs patience but should blossom with time in the cellar."
92 Points "Tar, smoke, licorice and iron all inform Pio Cesare's 2009 Barolo Ornato, a wine loaded with tons of pure Serralunga power. Rich and broad on the palate, the 2009 boasts striking depth and persistence. The warm growing season notwithstanding, the 2009 comes across as more classic than recent vintages, with less French oak influence."
92 Points "A touch of new oak adds spice and sweetness to the macerated cherry, menthol and tar notes. Firm and compact, showing a dense profile and a long finish of tar and savory. "
96 Points "The aromas are full of white truffles, dark fruits and dried flowers. Blueberries too. Full body that kicks in on the finish. It goes on for minutes. Tight and very integrated with beautifully polished tannins and pretty fruit."
93+ Points "The 2009 Barolo Ornato, on the other hand, shows a “modern” approach with softer fruit layers and thicker, velvety texture. The fact that the fruit is sourced in the Serralunga d’Alba township (known for more opulent wines) underlines the wine’s open and overt personality."
93 Points "Spicy, stylish, red fruit nose. Svelte and concentrated, not too tannic, lively and well balanced, with integrated oak and fine length."
97 Points "This winery is a mainstay of high-quality Barolo. The Ornato single-vineyard Barolo from 2008 is subtle yet complex, with wonderful character of peach, plum and rose. It’s full-bodied, with impressive intensity and structure. Best to drink in 2016."
97 Points Top 10 Wines in 2012 Ranked #6- "Barolo is always on my list of great wines any year. And the 2008 single vineyard Ornato from Pio Cesare nails the wonderful aromatics, harmony and structure of the vintage for Barolo. It’s well priced and readily available."
93+ Points "The 2008 Barolo Ornato is pretty, precise and delineated. This is a more reserved style than has been typical of Ornato in previous years. The French oak seems less obvious than in the past, while the flavor profile is more classic. Layers of dark red berries, flowers, menthol, spicebox and rose petals wrap around the powerful close. Overall, 2008 is shaping up to be a very classic vintage for the Ornato."
97 Points "Subtle yet complex aromas of peaches, plums and roses turn to walnuts, hazelnuts, and spice. Full-bodied, with impressive intensity and structure. A beautiful line to the wine with ultra-fine tannins and a finish that lasts for minutes. Super focused."
93 Points "This modern-style red features aromas and flavors of sweet vanilla, coconut, blackberry and tar."
94 Points "Quite closed on the nose, with the oak element in the foreground. Then hugely rich and opulent in the mouth, with an utterly smooth texture that goes beyond the other 2007s here. The concentration of plummy red fruit is accentuated by the wine's energy. Explosively long finish saturates the entire mouth with rich tannins."
95 Points "The 2007 Barolo Ornato is striking. It shows marvelous delineation in it aromatics, tremendous breadth on the palate and fabulous balance. As always, the Ornato is a plush Barolo, with tons of Serralunga character and muscle. Rose petals, crushed flowers and spices add complexity to the dark fruit, while the French oak is very well-integrated. This is one of the most polished wines I have ever tasted from Pio Cesare."
94 Points Cellar Selection "Ornato is an opulent, modern expression of Barolo with lush oak tones that will require at least 10 more years to find perfect harmony. The 2007 vintage offers extra pulp and chewy cherry concentration that this wine upholds very successfully. You’ll love the plumpness and overall chocolaty richness available here."
97 Points "Dark color with lovely ruby red edge. What a nose of blackberries, blueberries and hazelnuts! Full bodied, with amazing tannins that are velvety and gorgeous. Oranges and plums in the aftertaste. This is the best Ornato ever? This is the new 1958."
93 Points "A touch of wood adds warmth and spice, with vanilla and smoke notes accenting black cherry, licorice and leather flavors. The muscular tannins add power to this Barolo's well-toned profile."
93 Points "A touch of wood adds warmth and spice, with vanilla and smoke notes accenting black cherry, licorice and leather flavors. The muscular tannins add power to this Barolo’s well-toned profile."
94 Points "The estate’s 2006 Barolo Ornato expresses the power and masculinity of Serralunga in a rich, opulent style packed with dark fruit. The Ornato shows marvelous concentration and vibrancy, with added layers of dimension from the French oak. It is a fascinating wine to contrast with the straight Barolo, as each of these 2006s reveals a different shade of nuance. There is a marvelous intensity to the fruit, along with substantial grip on the finish."
92 points "The 2005 Barolo Ornato shows outstanding depth and complexity in its note of licorice, iron, plums, prunes, French oak and minerals. ...[I]s lighter in body than has been the case in the past vintages, which renders the wine quite classic in feel."
A Best of the Best 2 "Ripe, lush, beefy, and tangy with acidity and depth of flavor, Pio Cesare 2004 Barolo Ornato goes long and deep on the palate, revealing spiced plum and ripe berry fruit. Elegant and amazing."
94 points "The 2004 Barolo Ornato is the most distinguished Ornato yet. This Barolo remains very primary and backward, yet there is a haunting inner perfume that occasionally makes an appearance here and that augurs very well for the wine’s future. The tannins are fine but also beautifully balanced by the wine's massive fruit. ...Anticipated maturity: 2014-2034."
94 Points "Very beautiful aromas of berry, tar and rose follow through to a full-bodied palate, with fine tannins and a long finish of berry and vanilla. Very, very impressive. Polished and structured. Best after 2010."
92 points "The 2003 Barolo Ornato, from a vineyard in Serralunga, is a big, brooding wine loaded with scorched earth, smoke, dark fruit and plenty of toasted oak. Made in full-bodied, super-ripe style, the wine possesses outstanding depth with a note of alcoholic warmth on the finish....[T]his is a very strong effort from Pio Cesare. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2023."
91 Points "The 2001 Barolo Ornato is this estates more modern-styled Barolo. It is a backward effort, packed with dark fruit, scorched earth, toasted oak and tar flavors that are typical of Serralunga, in a potent style, with excellent persistence on the palate and an attractive finish. It will drink well to age 20, and likely beyond. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2021."
90 Points "Creamy textured, supple Barolo with strong oak overtones, it boasts aromas of coffee and vanilla layered over black cherries. It's nicely balanced in terms of alcohol and acid, with a creamy mouthfeel and dried-spice notes on the finish."
95 Points "Aromas of blackberries, licorice and berries follow through to a full-bodied palate, with lots of delicious plum fruit and toasted oak. Lovely finish. Very young. Very refined. Best after 2008."
91 Points "Fresh, clean style chardonnay with sliced apple, cooked peach and hints of minerals. Full-bodied, bright and clean with a lively finish. Mostly fermented and aged in stainless steel vats with a touch of the blend barrel-fermented. Drink now."
90 Points "This is intense and beautiful with a lemon curd, apple character plus hints of bread dough. This is full-bodied, and very flavorful on the palate and finish. Fermented in 75% stainless steel with the rest barrel-fermented before being aged seven months."
91 Points "Lime and apple flavors are singed by oak spice in this sleek white, revealing a mineral undercurrent. Balanced and intense, building to a long aftertaste of citrus and spice. Drink now through 2018."
94 Points "This is a super Burgundian-like Chardonnay with minerals, apples and hints of lime. Full body, yet fresh and vibrant with an incredible finish of vanilla, ripe apples and peaches. So intense at the end. 100% barrel fermented for about 10 months, then aged for about 10 months."
89+ Points 89(+?) Points - "Bright medium yellow with a greenish tinge. Cooler aromas of lime ice, white flowers and fresh herbs. Dense, even glyceral, in the mouth, but with juicy lemony acidity giving the wine a bracing, youthfully disjointed character."
88 Points "Bright medium yellow with a gold tinge. Exotic nectarine, fresh apricot and mango on the very ripe nose, with notes of honey, nuts and marzipan emerging with air. Rich and high in alcohol, but at the same time quite dry and savory, with plenty of fruit. Finishes with a floral element."
"Piedmont produces some of Italy's most distinguished and aromatic white wines, and late summer is the ideal season to savor the 2007 vintage of Pio Cesare's Cortese di Gavi DOCG, an appley, minerally white from the hills of Gavi. Made 100% from the Cortese grape, an indigenous varietal, this pale golden wine offers an expansive lime-scented bouquet and round, citrusy flavors along with a steely acidic backbone that pairs well with seafood (think crostini with tuna and caper mayonnaise)."
2.5 Stars (Good-Exce "Lime and green apple aromas and flavors; some fruity mass balances the acidity typical from this grape. Lemon zest and minerals on the finish. A better- than-average Gavi."
88 Points "Good bright, dark red-ruby. Pure, floral aromas of black cherry, plum and redcurrant, complicated by mint and leather. A ripe, savory midweight with a supple middle and good energy. Nicely smaller-scaled stainless steel dolcetto, finishing with good length and an intriguing saline quality."
"The 2005 Dolcetto d'Alba from Pio Cesare exhibits the all-around excellence that one expects from that top-rate winery. Properly shy of medium-bodied and with a lively finish..."
89 Points “A tannic dolcetto, this 2004 has a hard mineral edge to its black fruit, with the taste of a porcini charred on the grill. The earthy character offers potential to develop with a year or two of age. Serve it with grilled game birds.”
"Dolcetto, sometimes described as Italy's answer to Beaujolais, is a surprisingly complex wine that seems to be getting better every year... It offers good structure and notable acidity on the finish, and lots of fleshy fruit to complement barbecued meats and poultry. At prices that average between $15 and $20, it's an excellent value."
89 Points "The 2012 Langhe Nebbiolo is a delicious red to drink now and over the next few years. Sweet red cherry, white pepper, mint and spice are delineated in the glass. Pio Cesare's Langhe Nebbiolo emerges exclusively from Barbaresco and Barolo designated vineyards."
89 Points "Medium red with a hint of amber. Aromas of redcurrant, dried flowers, menthol and marzipan; smells like a small-scaled Barolo. Saline and dry, with good definition and cut to the red berry, earth and tobacco flavors. Good fresh wine with a firm tannic backbone."
"Pio Cesare goes back five generations, to 1881, and while the winery clings to traditions the family pioneered, it takes advantage of the most modern technical advances."
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