2012 Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato

Year: 2012
Appellation: Piedmont
Country: Italy
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 92
Vinous Media: 93
James Suckling: 98
Wine Enthusiast: 89
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Price :

2016 James Suckling Top 100: #28

"Austere initially, this needs air to open, displaying flavors of tar, cherry and spice from the new oak treatment. Firm and linear, with a dense structure that will require some time to integrate fully. Best from 2020 through 2035. 40 cases imported. –BS " (WS)

"The 2012 Barolo Ornato offers a modern approach with allspice and toasted almond in front of dark fruit, blackberry preserves and grilled herb. Lighter touches of tar, smoke and cola appear at the back. Overall, this Barolo is well integrated and seamless in delivery. It makes a great wine to drink within the next ten years." (WA)

"The 2012 Barolo Ornato is terrific. The Ornato is the most changed wine at Pio Cesare over the last decade, now that the estate has backed off of the nearly black, oak-laden style that was in vogue in the 1990s and early 2000s. There is no shortage of depth or intensity, but the estate captures all of that in a much more classic style these days. A host of dark stone fruit, spice and leather notes flesh out in a deep, intense Barolo endowed with plenty of tannic punch. Far from an easygoing 2012, Pio Cesare's Ornato will require at least a few years in bottle to come into its own." (VM)

"Aromas of toasted oak, espresso and exotic spice follow through to the firm palate along with star anise and notes of dried cherry. Bracing, close-grained tannins leave an extremely astringent finish." (WE)

"This is amazingly structured with tight and polished tannins that give this wine superb linear length and balance. Full body and bright and focused fruit. Goes on for minutes." (JS)

Winery Notes:
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. Year after year, the wines of Pio Cesare are recognized for their consistency and regional expression. From world-class Barolo and Barbaresco to crisp Cortese and sweet Moscato, the wines of Pio Cesare offer exceptional quality and variety.

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 whole Barolo area. It is fermented in stainless steel with skin contact for 15 days and aged in mid-toasted French oak for 36 months, 70 percent in new barriques and 30 percent in 25 hectoliter casks.

Tasting Notes:
This is a very rich Barolo, dense, with supple tannins, full concentrated ripe fruit, elegant and powerful with an extremely long life. It is produced in small quantities and only in excellent vintages.