Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato 2004
Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
"Ornato" is the name of the estate vineyard owned by the Pio family in Serralunga d'Alba. "Ornato" is more modern in style than Pio Cesare's traditional Barolo, but still true to its roots. The characteristics of the soil, the microclimate and favourable exposure, allows the grapes to become extremely rich. Fermentation at a slightly higher temperature, together with skin maceration for 12 days, produces a wine with great soft tannins. The first Barolo "Ornato" was produced in 1985. Since then, it has only been produced in outstanding years.
Barolo Ornato has a deep crimson red color and its nose exhibis intense fruit scents. On the palate, the tannins are fat and found, yet also mellow and elegant. Concentrated flavors of ripe fruit previal with subtle hints of tobacco, chocolate and pepper, culminating in a rich finish.
Wine Spectator - "Very pretty and focused, with lots of subtle aromas, from black cherry to freshly cut flowers. Full-bodied and powerful, with chewy tannins and a long, rich finish. All to come here. Best after 2011. 1,000 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2004 Barolo Ornato is the most distinguished Ornato yet. This Barolo remains very primary and backward, yet there is a haunting inner perfume that occasionally makes an appearance here and that augurs very well for the wine’s future. The tannins are fine but also beautifully balanced by the wine's massive fruit. A recent tasting of Ornatos including the wines from the 1990s shows that the current lower levels of toast in the barrels is allowing more vintage and vineyard character to emerge in this wine, something that is a huge stride in the right direction. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2034."
International Wine Cellar - "Good deep, saturated red. The nose offers incredibly primary aromas of crushed raspberry, minerals and underbrush. Lush on entry, then fat, primary and sweet in the middle, with superb strength of material supported by mineral spine. Conveys an impression of great size without any heaviness. Finishes with wonderful breadth of tannins, and fruit and mineral flavors that spread out over the entire palate and refuse to leave. A monumental Barolo in the making, and likely to be very long-lived. 93-96"
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Pio Cesare Winery
Pio Cesare has been producing wine for more than 100 years and through generations. The tradition began in 1881, when Pio Cesare started gathering grapes in his vineyards and purchasing those of some selected and reliable farmers in the hills of Barolo and Barbaresco districts.
At Pio Cesare, there has always been a conviction that great wine can come only from the finest grapes and the winery's output has always been limited through adherence to the highest standards. Pio Cesare limits its production by using only the most mature and healthy grapes. The ripening of the grapes is carefully monitored and the harvest is rigidly controlled with each grape selected by hand.
Today, the estate is managed by Pio Boffa, great-grandson of Pio Cesare. Under his stewardship, the wines of Pio Cesare have become famous throughout the world. Great strides have been made in quality, and single vineyard offerings have dazzled the wine press. View all Pio Cesare Wines
About PiedmontView a map of Piedmont wineries (PEED-mont)
Notable FactsNot just regulated to red wine, Piedmont also produces some notable whites, particularly those near the district of Gavi and Asti. Gavi produces still white wine from the Cortese grape. The wine is dry with a crisp, citrus-like acidity – fairly neutral but pleasant. Arneis is another grape/wine made in the area, creating a fuller wine that displays some nuttiness in the aroma and taste. Asti is well known for its sparkling wine – in particular Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti. Asti Spumante is typically higher in alcohol, sweetness & fizziness, while its higher-class cousin, Mostcato d'Asti, contains lower alcohol levels, a few less bubbles, and a more restrained and delicate representation of Moscato fruit.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.