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Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato 2012

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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13.5% ABV
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4.1 7 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This is a very rich Barolo, dense, with supple tannins, full concentrated ripe fruit, elegant and powerful with an extremely long life. It is produced in small quantities and only in excellent vintages. 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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 98
James Suckling
This is amazingly structured with tight and polished tannins that give this wine superb linear length and balance. Full body and bright and focused fruit. Goes on for minutes.
V 93
Vinous
The 2012 Barolo Ornato is terrific. The Ornato is the most changed wine at Pio Cesare over the last decade, now that the estate has backed off of the nearly black, oak-laden style that was in vogue in the 1990s and early 2000s. There is no shortage of depth or intensity, but the estate captures all of that in a much more classic style these days. A host of dark stone fruit, spice and leather notes flesh out in a deep, intense Barolo endowed with plenty of tannic punch. Far from an easygoing 2012, Pio Cesare's Ornato will require at least a few years in bottle to come into its own.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Barolo Ornato offers a modern approach with allspice and toasted almond in front of dark fruit, blackberry preserves and grilled herb. Lighter touches of tar, smoke and cola appear at the back. Overall, this Barolo is well integrated and seamless in delivery. It makes a great wine to drink within the next ten years.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Austere initially, this needs air to open, displaying flavors of tar, cherry and spice from the new oak treatment. Firm and linear, with a dense structure that will require some time to integrate fully. Best from 2020 through 2035.
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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.

The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo region includes five core townships: La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and the Barolo village itself, as well as a few outlying villages. The landscape of Barolo, characterized by prominent and castle-topped hilltops, is one full of history and romance of the Nebbiolo grape. Its wines, with the signature “tar and roses” aromas, have a deceptively light garnet color but full presence on the palate and plenty of tannins and acidity. In a well-made Barolo, one can expect to find complexity and good evolution with notes of, for example, strawberry, cherry, plum, leather, truffle, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco and violets.

There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards farthest west and at higher elevations. Typically the Barolo wines coming from this side, from La Morra and Barolo, can be approachable relatively early on in their evolution and represent the “feminine” side of Barolo, often closer in style to Barbaresco with elegant perfume and fresh fruit.

On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian soils of compressed sandstone and chalks are less fertile, producing wines with intense body, power and structured tannins. This more “masculine” style comes from Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba. The township of Castiglione Falletto covers a spine with both soils types.

The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piemontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. This finicky grape and needs a very particular soil type and climate in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Tiny amounts are produced in Washington, Virginia, Mexico and Australia.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo at its best is an elegant variety with velveteen tannins, mouthwatering acidity and a captivating perfume. Common characteristcs of a well-made Nebbiolo can include roses, violets, licorice, sandalwood, spicebox, smoke, potpourri, black plum, red cherry and orange peel. Light brick in color, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow.

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 cuisine. The region is famous for its white truffles, wild boar ragu and tajarin pasta, all perfect companions to 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.

CGM33112_2012 Item# 166659