Pio Cesare Barolo Chinato
May 4, 2023, Audrey Frick
“A rich but transparent amber, the NV Barolo Chinato reveals notes of blood orange, baking spice, mocha, and rosemary, followed by a medium to full-bodied red with sweetness and delicate, attractive bitterness in its hints of tea leaf and orange peel. Lifted and not heavy, it would be perfect paired with chocolate.”
International Wine Review
October 23, 2021, Don Winkler
“ Medium dark red showing amber on the edge with a profusely aromatic nose of citrus and dates and an elegant, creamy palate with woodsy, herbal notes and flavors that evoke spiced English Christmas cake with dried red cherries.. Lovely, long finish. Lovely, long, long finish. Only 80 cases made annually. The perfect after dinner drink; best consumed neat.”
The Wine Advocate
June 17, 2021, Monica Larner
“The Pio Cesare NV Barolo Chinato pours from the bottle with a dark amber color with shiny chestnut highlights. This fortified digestif shows amazing purity and intensity, with aromas that you can list and identify clearly one by one. There is balsam and medicinal herb with minty cough syrupy, cola and candied orange peel. With time, you might also sense some Moroccan spice or toasted Spanish cedarwood. The alcohol content is registered at 16% although it surely feels much higher. Balanced sweetness wraps smoothly over the palate. I'm never quite sure how to assign a drinking window to Barolo Chinato, and it is ostensibly built to last forever.”
Italian Wine Report
December 2020, Tom Hyland
“Barolo Chinato is my favorite digestif after a filling dinner in Piemonte; it is Barolo infused with china bark and numerous herbs. Deep orange amber; aromas of nutmeg, rhubarb, cinnamon, orange peel and yes, tree bark. Medium-full (16% alcohol), this is very rich on the palate with flavors of ripe oranges and brown spice. Dry finish with distinct notes of brown herbs and subtle notes of cinnamon and sassafras.”
Since the beginning of Pio Cesare's history, the winery has produced limited quantities of Barolo Chinato and Vermouth, meticulously following the family recipe originally created by the founder. In the early 1950s, the winery decided to stop the production due to customers' changing tastes. They were increasingly focused on “liqueur” wines and vermouths with nontraditional flavors, less character and less respectful of each wine region’s terroir.
In recent years, discerning customers have begun to look for traditional character, strong personality and great individuality in aromatic wines and in wine-based aperitifs. As a result, Pio Cesare has decided to produce small amounts of Barolo Chinato and Vermouth. The winery follows the secret family recipe that has been safeguarded by the founder’s granddaughter.
Produced in small numbers, a limited quantity of Barolo Chinato and Vermouth is now destined for a select clientele in Italy and around the world. Pio Cesare is committed to bringing these great wines back again so that they can regain the acclaim they once had.
An infusion of chinchona (China Calissaja and Succirubra barks) is macerated for 21 days in a small amount of the winery's classic Barolo. The recipe then calls for a mixture of aromatic herbs, such as gentian roots, rhubarb, cardamom seeds, sweet and bitter orange, cinnamon and others, which all together compose the family recipe. After several weeks aging, the right amount of Barolo is added. After a light fining, the infusion is aged for four months in oak barrels, bottled, and after an additional aging of at least two months, it finally becomes Pio Cesare Barolo Chinato.