Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato DOCG

Piemonte, Italy

Vintage:2020 (Pending)

2016 (Past) | 2017 (Past) | 2018 (Past) | 2019 (Current) |

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Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato DOCG 2020
  • JS 98
  • D 96
  • JD 94


Jeb Dunnuck

94 Points

May 13, 2024, Audrey Frick

The 2020 Barolo Ornato expresses a wonderful floral profile on the nose, with loads of fresh roses, red raspberries, dried strawberries, white pepper, and fennel. It displays a more linear approach compared to the Mosconi (which has broader shoulders and more structure), with fine tannins, snappy acidity, and a bright lift on the finish. It is elegant and a touch nervous at this stage and will benefit from another year in bottle. Drink 2025-2037.


96 Points

March 28, 2024, Aldo Fiordelli

Ornato has been the Pio Cesare estate's cru since 1985. In 2020, the grapes were harvested on 5 October, after the heavy rainfall. Mineral and smoky, with intense violet notes alongside cherry kernel and rhubarb, it's full of graphite flavour and almost zestiness on the palate, supported by tight-knit tannins. Polished and thick on the finish. "Compared to 2019, we used gentler extractions in 2020," explains Federica Boffa, now in charge at Pio Cesare.


98 Points

January 11, 2024, James Suckling

This is very focused with lots of ripe tannins in the center palate. Very velvety and fine-textured with a pointed character. Medium to full body. Aromas of plums and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg to the fruit. Bitter citrus. Chewy at the end. Taut muscles. Sophisticated. Needs four or five years to come around. Best after 2030.


The Pio Cesare family’s unique winemaking method stresses minimal intervention to produce wines of particularly supple flavor expression. A ceaseless devotion to the individuality of each of the region’s wines informs Pio Cesare's choices in the cellar: shorter maceration, separate lot fermentation, judicious selection for barrel and large cask aging, and bottling schedules determined by the ideal structure of each wine. This allows Pio Cesare to craft wines of varying weight, ageability and drinkability as determined by the vineyard rather than market fashion.

First launched with the 1985 vintage, Barolo Ornato was Pio Cesare's original single-vineyard bottling. Great structure, power, concentration, with a very long life. Produced in small quantities.


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 Barolo region. It is fermented in stainless steel with skin contact for 30 days and aged in in oak botti for about 30 months, and a small amount in French oak for the first 12 months.

Tasting Notes

This wine has great structure and concentration, with ripe fruit, soft tannins and tobacco. May be enjoyed upon release, but will reward time in the cellar. 

Harvest Notes

2020 has been a remarkably high-quality vintage and our vineyards turned out to be, in such a difficult and challenging year with the explosion of COVID-19, ideal examples of resilience and of the impressive force of Mother Nature, so cruel with human beings yet so full of mercy with the vines. Green harvesting—which kept us busy for almost one whole month, from the end of July to the end of August—was fundamental in 2020: the results of this practice are grapes with more concentration, depth, lower acidity, better phenological ripening and less green tannins. We are very much in love with the intense red fruit of the 2020 vintage—still very young but already very drinkable—rich and complex on the nose with a great depth especially in the Barolos.

The delicate use of the oak is very well integrated with the gentle tannins, the aromas and the acidity creating a harmonious balance, especially in the Barbarescos. A superb high-quality and accessible vintage which will as well reveal the great ageing potential of Nebbiolo.

Grapes for the Barolo Ornato were picked on October 5th, 2020. 

Technical Information

Varietals: 100% Nebbiolo

Cases Produced: 12,325 bottles, 480 magnums, 6 jeroboams and 3 imperials