Pio Cesare Chardonnay Piodilei DOC
September 6, 2022, James Suckling
“Lots of pretty, bright fruit with sliced cooked apple, lemon and a hint of vanilla. Bitter lemon also. It’s full-to medium-bodied with steely tannins and a bright, flinty finish. Drink or hold.”
The Wine Advocate
August 11, 2022, Monica Larner
“The Pio Cesare 2019 Langhe Chardonnay Piodilei offers toasted almond, crushed flint and some of the fine-tuning that comes thanks to an extra year of bottle age. The bouquet focuses on stone fruit, honey, vanilla and pastry cream.”
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.
Since the 1985 vintage, the Chardonnay Piodilei represents the family's desire to produce a white wine with the same body, complexity and aging potential of the great reds historically produced in the Langhe. The family produces very small quantities of this wine.
From the inaugural 1985 vintage to the 2018 release, Piodilei Chardonnay was a single-vineyard, barrel-fermented Chardonnay. The 2019 vintage changes the grape sourcing by complementing the historical Il Bricco estate vineyard in Treiso Barbaresco—where the family's first Chardonnay grapes were planted in 1981—with the Mosconi vineyard in Monforte d'Alba.
Yields in both vineyards remain low and grapes are harvested rather late when fully ripened. The fermentation starts in stainless steel tanks and then finishes in French oak barriques, one-third of which are new. During élevage, the wine spends eight months in French oak barriques with extensive lees contact. Nine additional months of bottle-aging before release.
Spicy, creamy and intense with a soft but long aftertaste. Sweet fruit, hot and ripe, still very fresh with an elegant touch of oak. Built for the cellar, this wine has a very long aging potential.
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay