Tasting Interview: Pio Cesare's 2017 Barolos and Barbarescos

On March 19, James did an interview and tasting with owner Pio Boffa of Pio Cesare to taste some great wines from the 2017 vintage. Pio Boffa is the fourth generation winemaker of Pio Cesare. The family began cultivating grapes in 1881 and has always insisted on making the best-quality wines made from the best quality grapes.

Pio said 2017 was a top vintage thanks to a periodically cooler August after the hot and dry weather they experienced during the summer. He added that the vintage was nothing like the 2003s, which were slightly jammy and lacked some freshness. Instead, the 2017 wines are bright and vivid with solid tannins to frame the wines.

James rated the Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato 2017 and the Pio Cesare Barolo Mosconi 2017 both 98 points. He described the full-bodied Ornato as "extremely perfumed with dark berries, cherries, strawberries and crushed stones," and the Mosconi as "tight and very tannic with a fine-grained texture and a long, intense finish."