Barolo Tour - Pio Cesare
If you have been enjoying the wines from Pio Cesare over the past decades you'll know, that Pio Cesare is one of the old and most prestigeous producers under the Barolo brand.
The only producer of Barolo wines actually situated in the town of Alba behind a large wooden double door facing the street outside. But inside - behind the door - things still happen at this iconic producer.
Wine lovers all over the world recognize the labels from Pio Cesare. Old school labels, old school Barolo. But in the last decade a lot of things have actually happend to improve the wines, and the new kind of thinking at Cesare's is label with a different label-style. More of that later in the article.
At this late afternoon in november we had an appointment at Pio Cesare for a tour round the cellar and a tasting of the new vintage.
The first vist at Cesare's for Vinhulen.dk, and we were quite exited!!
At Vinhulen.dk we remember, with great joy, the vintages of Barolo from the 70's and 80's, but at some point in time, Pio Cesare seemed to think, that fame was enough and kind of forgot the first and foremost important rule of winemaking - quality.
This led to an unfortunate lowering of quality in some year during the 90's, but we can assure you that quality again is up to standard and the wines are quite lovely here in the 10's.
Back in the 70's and 80's Barolo from Pio Cesare were tannic and longliving wines meant for a long life in the cellar before beeing ready for consumption.
This is still true - hard, rough and die hard aaproach in the early years in bottle but refined, complex and lovely after many years in the cellar.
The vintages 1978, 1989 and 1990 is lovely at this point in time (2015). Not many other producers can say that and speak the truth :-)
One of the most facinating things at Cesare's is that the winery is founded on the top of ancient Roman Empire remains!
In some places in the winery you will actually see parts of the original structure that are more than 2.000 years old. Dated back to 50 B.C. It's rather unique to touch a wall and feel the sensation of touching something that are build by people from ancient history. You can almost feel the history come alive in front of you!
Another quite unique experience during the visit was Pio Cesare's many "museum-like" departments in the building - old bottles from the last century, old production tools and a lot more.
The combination of state of the art production methods meets old school craftmanship is rare and facinating.
To the left you see one of the employers taking a sample of the wine from the large cementtank which is hard to find these days in the Barolo area. Most tanks are made of stainless steel...
But still - in the background you can spot a barrique - new and ready for some of the others wines for ageing. Again - combination of old and new.
Pio Cesare was founded in 1881 by, not surpriceingly, Pio Cesare.
Now the 5th generation of Cesares are running the wine production with a new racking by graviy area and a brand new barrel ageing room. The racking by gravity system is placed 12 meters underground under the original roman walls. A new bottling and labelling facility is placed in a new building right next door.
New things happen all the time....
Pio Cesare has more than 65 hectares under wine in Barolo and Barbaresco but also vinyards in Diano d'Alba, Sinio and Trezzo Tinella.
The range of wines are large:
Gavi/Cotese di Gavi
Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese
Barbera d'Alba Fides
Barbaresco Il Bricco
As you see, 17 different wines - quite a lot to handle....
Ofcourse the Barolo and Barbaresco wines are based on 100% nebbiolo grape as the wine law in Italy reguire and so are the Barbera and Nebbiolo wines too, but for instans Langhe Oltre is a blend of Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The wine Langhe Oltre is in fact the only wine from Pio Cesare with a blend of grapes. All the other wines are on 100% one-grape-wines.
Now the time had come to taste a variety of Pio Cesare's wines in the tasting room. This time only 5 different wines, but the most interesting ones.
You can see the wines below.
If you want to see our review of a particulary wine or more, just click on the wine, and you'll be forwarded to our wine database with over 5.000 Italian wine reviews:
Lange Freisa 2011, Pio Cesare
Barbera d'Alba Fides 2010, Pio Cesare
Nebbiolo d'Alba 2009, Pio Cesare
Barolo 2008, Pio Cesare
Barolo Ornato 2008, Pio Cesare
Barolo Ornato 2008 was to become on of the best Barolo's on this years tour. We were surpriced, but no doubt about it. It was delicious and far, far better than we remember it. One of the highlights this year.
2 nice hours together with the people and wines of Pio Cesare in Alba.
The Barolo's and Barbaresco's are still long living and meant for the cellar for many years before enjoying them later on - just as we remember. And Pio Cesare is still one of the producers of the area that you can count on.
Time to head back to our appartment and get the car fired up for more adventures in the beautiful area.
You'll find the wines from Pio Cesare in Denmark at Laudrup Vin & Gastronomi.