Pio Cesare Chardonnay Piodilei DOC

Piemonte, Italy

Vintage:2021 (Current)

2019 (Past) | 2020 (Past) |

Tech Sheet Download Download PDF with Scores Download PDF without Scores

Pio Cesare Chardonnay Piodilei DOC 2021
  • JS 95
  • WA 93+


The Wine Advocate

93+ Points

August 24, 2023, Monica Larner

“The Pio Cesare 2021 Langhe Chardonnay Piodilei is a terrific white wine, and honestly speaking, it's one of the most consistent expressions of the French grape made in Piedmont. Granted, the wine is out of context, considering the heavily red wine-focused identity of its surroundings, but it absolutely delivers on freshness of fruit, depth and carefully measured toasted oak nuances. This is your bottle when you need to break up all those delicious tastes of Barolo and Barbaresco.”


95 Points

June 21, 2023, James Suckling

“Love the aromas of cooked apples with nougat, honeysuckle and hints of wood. Full-bodied and very flavorful with a phenolic tension and focus that runs through the wine. Hints of pie crust and vanilla bean with crushed stone. Drink now 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.

Tasting Notes

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. 

Harvest Notes

Unlike previous years, the harvest of the Chardonnay vineyards was very short and lasted three days, ending on September 13th. 

Technical Information

Varietals: 100% Chardonnay