The 1997 Pio Cesare Barolo was the leading vote getter in the February Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.
Pio Cesare, located in Alba, Piedmont, was founded in 1881 by Cesare Pio and it is now owned and operated by the fifth generation of the family. Gambero Rosso, Italy’s most distinguished wine journal, notes that today Pio Cesare “invariably offers technically impeccable, traditionally styled wines . . . their forte is great reds, above all Barolo and Barbaresco, which perfectly embody their terroir.” The estate produces single vineyard wines as well as wines sourced from multiple parcels. The estate owns 130 acres of vineyards and produces about 400,000 bottles annually.
I purchased the wine upon release and the cork was in perfect condition. The bottle was decanted for 30 minutes and served with a rosemary, garlic pork roast.
Rust colored with some bricking at the edge of the glass. 13.5% ABV. Rose petal, cherries and wet pavement aromas waft from the glass. Strawberries, dried cherries, herbs, flowers, tar, asphalt, leather and pomegranate on the palate. Great structure with rustic, yet substantial, fruit. The wine has a tannin profile that makes me think bottles can be drunk over the next 2-4 years. Length, depth, acidity and grip in spades. A long and gorgeous finish. There is something that is magical about a great bottle of aged Barolo! My rating: 94 points.
Current vintages of Pio Cesare Barolo, including the ’07 and ’08 can be found for $60-$70 and are worth looking for.
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