2013 Pio Cesare Barolo

Year: 2013
Appellation: Piedmont
Country: Italy
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 95
Vinous Media: 90
James Suckling: 95
Wine Enthusiast: 95
Red Wine
Price :


100% Nebbiolo

"A taut, sinewy version, revealing eucalyptus, wild herb, leather, tobacco and iron notes wrapped around a core of dusty cherry fruit. Fresh and chalky. Best from 2021 through 2040. -B.S." (WS)

"The Pio Cesare 2013 Barolo offers all of the plentiful qualities that make this such a memorable vintage. Because the growing season was slightly cooler compared to the two years preceding it, 2013 offers a great sense of freshness and brightness. Fruit was sourced from seven different vineyard sites (with much of it coming from Serralunga d'Alba). Starting in 2015, Monforte d'Alba fruit will be added. The tannins are tightly integrated within the firm fabric of the wine. Yet, the finish is round and supple. This Barolo offers characteristic aromas of wild berry, black truffle and cola. It is executed in a very traditional style with botte grande and a tiny part barrique to give the wine a tad more oxygen during its integration and aging process.

You have to love the energy and dynamic thinking that comes out of this historic cellar located in the city center of Alba. Pio Cesare reflects the happy mood and the general euphoria coming out of Barolo and Barbaresco these past few years. The good spirits are linked to the ever-growing popularity of the region's excellent wines, winery owner Pio Boffa tells me with his daughter Federica (now working at the winery) and his nephew Cesare Benvenuto by his side. A wide smile spreads across his face. The Langhe is experiencing positive growth and this leads to creative thinking. For example, Pio Cesare has cleverly launched two new products born deep in the bowels of ancient tradition. They have launched a Vermouth and a Barolo Chinato, both based on grandma's secret recipe found stashed away for decades in a locked safe. These are two products that once enjoyed vibrant popularity here locally in the territory, but that have since faded from memory. Now, thanks to the global boom in mixed cocktails and spirits, the return of these products is appropriate and perfectly timed. I have reviewed both here, for fun. Besides the Vermouth and the Barolo Chinato, Pio Cesare boasts a line of eight table wines spread across an annual production of some 400,000 bottles. Besides the wines reviewed here, I had the opportunity to taste barrel samples from 2014, 2015 and 2016. I have sprinkled some of my impressions from this tasting in my comments on the upcoming vintages in this article introduction." (WA)

"The 2013 Barolo is a very pretty wine from proprietor Pio Boffa. As always, the blend of sites Pio Cesare favors yields a distinctive Barolo with quite a bit of complexity. Medium in body and intensely aromatic, the 2013 can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring. The orange peel, exotic spice, kirsch and mint notes all give the wine plenty of allure, while the tannins are quite soft for a young Barolo. All the elements are very nicely balanced. Pio Cesare's Barolo is a wine that does not seem to get much attention, but it is consistently delicious, fairly priced and relatively easy to find, a combination of virtues that is noteworthy." (VM)

"The aromas to this are really impressive with crushed berries, dried flowers, walnuts and roses. Metamorphoses all the time. Full to medium body, characterized by a fantastic mouthfeel of ripe and round tannins that are always polished and beautiful. Magnificent harmony and purity. Drink or hold. " (JS)

"This stunning wine opens with classic Nebbiolo aromas of underbrush, new leather, blue flower and dark berry along with a whiff of menthol. The radiant savory palate delivers juicy Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry, clove and star anise framed in noble tannins and bright acidity. It's tempting now but will continue to unwind and develop complexity for years to come. Drink 2023–2043." (WE)

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.

The grapes are sourced from family owned vineyards in Serralunga d'Alba (Ornato), Grinzane Cavour (Gustava), La Morra (Roncaglie) and Barolo -Novello (Ravera). The balance of the grapes comes from other exclusive vineyards owned by growers, who have been providing grapes to the Pio Cesare family for generations. Vinification takes place in stainless steel tanks, with skin contact for about 20 days. The wine is aged in mid-toasted French oak for three years: 70 percent in 20 to 50 hectoliter casks; 30 percent in barriques.

Tasting Notes:
This vintage has extraordinary elegance, complexity and character. Silky and intense bouquet. Full body, great structure, right tannins, incredible ageing potential, precise and classic Nebbiolo style. The wine has sweet and very elegant tannins. It still needs one year in oak for the best maturation.