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Flat front label of wine

Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato 2004

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
  • WS96
  • RP94
14% ABV
  • JS95
  • WS92
  • D90
  • JS98
  • V93
  • WS92
  • RP92
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  • RP93
  • JS96
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  • RP94
  • JS96
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  • RP93
  • WS92
  • JS97
  • RP95
  • WE94
  • WS93
  • WE94
  • JS93
  • WS93
  • WS95
  • RP92
  • WS94
  • RP92
  • WS95
  • RP94
  • TP93
  • WE90
  • WS95
  • RP93
  • W&S90
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

"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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 96
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.
RP 94
Robert Parker's 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.
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Pio Cesare

Pio Cesare

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Pio Cesare, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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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.

Home to the world’s most powerful wines made from the Nebbiolo grape, the Barolo village of Piedmont has long been known as “the wine of kings, the king of wines.” There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from neighboring Barbaresco as well as from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards to the west, typically resulting in fresher, fruitier, and softer wines that are approachable relatively early on in their evolution. This is sometimes referred to as the “feminine” side of Barolo and is closer in style to Barbaresco with its elegant perfume. On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian sandstone clay soils are chalkier and less fertile, producing age-worthy wines with full body and structured tannins—the more “masculine” style. The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

Barolo is one of the world’s most distinctive red wines, and experienced tasters typically have no trouble picking it out of a lineup. In addition to Nebbiolo’s signature “tar and roses” aroma, one can expect to find complex notes of strawberries, cherries, leather, white truffles, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco, violets, plum, and much more. Despite its deceptively light garnet color, Barolo has a full presence on the palate and plenty of tannin and acidity. The traditional style of Barolo relies on the use of neutral large wooden vats for aging, which do not impart flavor to the wine and preserve the natural character of the Nebbiolo grape. Meanwhile, a more modern, “international” style of Barolo utilizes small French oak barrels to add spicy, woody flavors and a softer texture resulting in earlier drinkability.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it is at its best in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is a finicky grape, and needs a very particular soil type in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, it often fails to show the captivating aromas for which it is so beloved, but some success has been achieved in parts of California.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo is an elegant variety with mouthwatering acidity and a compelling perfume of rose petals, violets, fresh tar, licorice, clay, and dried cherries. Light in color and body, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow. With age, it develops a velvety texture and a stunningly complex bouquet.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best produce. The region is famous for its white truffles and wild boar ragu, both of which make for excellent pairings with Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you can’t afford to drink Barolo and Barbaresco every night, try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba. Also search out the fine offerings of the nearby Roero region. North of the Langhe and Roero, find earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) in Ghemme and Gattinara.

JHAORNATO_2004 Item# 96100