2016 Pio Cesare Barolo

Year: 2016
Appellation: Piedmont
Country: Italy
Wine Spectator: 91
Wine Advocate: 95
Vinous Media: 92
James Suckling: 95
Jeb Dunnuck: 94
Wine Enthusiast: 96
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
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100% Nebbiolo

"Lean and taut, showing macerated cherry, eucalyptus and iron flavors. It's ripe and the tannins are well-integrated. Just a bit shy on the finish today, but a year or two in the bottle should take care of that. Best from 2022 through 2036. 5,800 cases made, 2,566 cases imported. -BS " (WS)

"Traditionalists happily fall back to this wine from Pio Cesare. This historic winery, now in its fifth generation and located within the city limits of Alba, takes care to shape a classic interpretation without too many extra bells or whistles. The fact that Pio Cesare now has the flashier Barolo Ornato and the newly created Barolo Mosconi, only gives more importance to this wine. The Pio Cesare 2016 Barolo offers deep, dark fruit with a mingling of spice, smoke, tar and smoke. This wine represents a blend of fruit from five comuni, or villages: Cascina Ornato, La Serra and Briccolina in Serralunga d'Alba; Gustava and Garretti in Grinzane Cavour; Roncaglie in La Morra; Ravera in Novello; and starting with the 2015 vintage, Mosconi in Monforte d’Alba. An ample 60,000 bottles were produced.

The big news from the historic Pio Cesare cellars in Alba is the acquisition of 10 new hectares of vines in the Mosconi cru of Monforte d'Alba. I had already reported this news last year when I tasted the inaugural 2015 vintage. You'll find a review for the beautiful 2016 vintage here. In other news, Federica Rosy, the 22-year-old daughter of Pio Boffa, has officially joined the management team. She represents the fourth generation of her family to guide this estate, along with her father and her cousin Cesare Benvenuto. We can also expect a few new wines in the future, as Pio Cesare has decided to embark on small productions of two new labels. Rosy (named after Federica) is a rosé made with Nebbiolo and Syrah harvested from an estate vineyard in Treiso in Barbaresco. The second wine is a pure expression of Sauvignon Blanc that also draws its fruit from Treiso. " (WA)

"The 2016 Barolo is a terrific example of the year. Bright acids and veins of supporting tannins give the 2016 its super-classic feel. Sweet red cherry fruit, chalk, mint, dried flowers, cedar, anise and sweet pipe tobacco all grace this translucent, mid-weight Barolo. Best of all, the 2016 can be enjoyed with just a few more years in bottle. It is a gorgeous wine and a good relative value within Barolo." (VM)

"Pretty sweetness and ripeness to this with cherries, dried strawberries and chocolate. It’s full-bodied with round, firm tannins. Very long and intense. A little tight now. Complex and subtle at this stage. Give it two or three years to come around. Try after 2022." (JS)

"The 2016 Barolo reveals a deep purple hue as well as impressive black cherry, blackberry, crushed violets, and toasted spice, with plenty of minerality developing with time in the glass. Medium-bodied, rich, and beautifully textured on the palate, this balanced, straight-up gorgeous Barolo will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and cruise for two decades in cold cellars." (JD)

"Editors' Choice, Enticingly fragrant, this wine offers alluring scents of iris, rose, perfumed berry and wild herb. It's full bodied and elegant, delivering crushed raspberry, juicy Marasca cherry, star anise and orange zest set against a backbone of taut, fine-grained tannins. Bright acidity keeps it balanced and lends intensity. Drink 2024–2036. Kerin O’Keefe " (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.