The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2013

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Page 79 of 152

The grapes come exclusively from the Barolo and Barbaresco areas, which give a great elegance and noble touch to our Barbera." I am a strong believer that Barbera is the perfect wine for the food we eat, and the Pio Cesare Barberas are ideal examples. Even though Pio Cesare is a winery steeped in tradition, they have stepped outside the box on a few occasions. "Over 30 years ago," Cesare told me, "Giuseppe started making Il Nebbio using young Nebbiolo grapes and using no oak. He produced it using carbonic maceration [whole-cluster fermentation]. We never exported this wine to the U.S., but a few months ago we began to export it to Southern California because we believe that it could be a great opportunity for this market." Even more untraditional is Oltre, a blend of Barbera, Nebbiolo and small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. "Oltre means 'beyond' or 'in addtion' to our classical wines. It shows our flexibility to make something different." But in the long run Pio Cesare is a bastion of tradition. Its long history of high-quality classic wines stands as an example for all to see of the consistent excellence of Piemonte's best. Here are my tasting notes on Pio Cesare's current releases: 2012 Cortese di Gavi ($20) Bright and smooth, crisp and rich with minerals and tangy fruit; fresh, deep and balanced, elegant and long. 89 2012 Dolcetto d'Alba ($21) Lush blackberry nose; juicy and rich, spicy and deep; fresh, ripe and smooth with no oak; dense and lovely. 90 2011 Il Nebbio, Langhe ($19) Made from young Nebbiolo vines with carbonic maceration and no oak; spicy nose, smooth juicy and crisp with fresh, racy fruit; bracing and loaded with charm. 90 2011 Barbera d'Alba ($19) Fruit from seven vineyards aged for eighteen months in oak; Juicy, spicy and smooth; ripe, mellow and tangy with black raspberry fruit; long and balanced, lovely and complex with great structure and balance. 91 2010 Barbera d'Alba Fides ($37) Lush, deep and complex with dense plum and spice; layered, long, balanced and stunning. Two years in oak; 400 cases made. 92 2008 Oltre ($25) Ripe and complex with herbs, spice and layered flavors; long and juicy. 60% Barbera, 30% Nebbiolo, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot; 600 cases made. 90 2008 Barbaresco ($60) Silky and ripe with gorgeous, elegant fruit and great balance; feminine and lovely; long, graceful and complex. 92 2009 Barolo ($60) Deep, fragrant with a lush nose; silky and elegant with bright black raspberry and notes of leather and earth; complex and intense; balanced and long. 92 2008 Barbaresco Bricco ($120) Elegant and juicy, lovely, lush and smooth; long graceful and complete, ripe and balanced, vibrant and totally charming. 94 2008 Barolo Ornato ($112) Silky smooth, ripe and juicy; fresh and generous, balanced and tangy; complex, rich and long with layers of flavor; a lovely demonstration of why many consider Barolo one of the world greatest wines. 95 Pio Cesare wines are imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines. november 2013  /  the tasting panel  /  79 TP1113_066-107.indd 79 10/24/13 9:24 AM

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