Pio Cesare Chardonnay Piodilei DOC
May 4, 2023, Audrey Frick
“The 2020 Langhe Chardonnay Piodilei is ripe and flinty, with ripe peach, smoke, and lemon curd. Fresh and medium to full-bodied, with a round texture and fresh citrus pith and saline, it offers notes of banana peel, honeycomb, and light baking spice. A clean and lovely wine, it could appeal to lovers of New World styles who are just being introduced to Italian wines. Drink 2023-2030.”
December 2022, Antonio Galloni
“The 2020 Chardonnay Piodilei is a soft, open knit white to drink now and over the next two to three years. Light tropical accents, orchard fruit, white flowers, tangerine oil and a touch of French oak all open nicely in this supple Chardonnay. The Piodilei is about as good as it gets for Chardonnay in Piedmont.”
August 16, 2022, James Suckling
“A dense and layered chardonnay with lots of phenolic tension that gives it structure. Full and intense, with a powerful structure and a long finish. Serious. One for the cellar. Drink or hold.”
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 released with the 1985 vintage and conceived as a tribute to the influential women of the Pio Cesare family (Pio di lei translating to "for the ladies"), 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. Grape sourcing changed in the 2019 vintage 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