2001 Pio Cesare "Ornato" Barolo

SKU #1020324 95 points Wine Spectator

 Aromas of blackberries, licorice and berries follow through to a full-bodied palate, with lots of delicious plum fruit and toasted oak. Lovely finish. Very young. Very refined. Best after 2008.  (2/2006)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2001 Barolo Ornato offers up an exciting melange of tar, licorice, mocha, smoke, plums and iron. The Ornato, which was so muscular when it was young, has developed into a much more graceful and finessed wine that I ever imagined. The French oak has integrated, while the fruit has become silky, fragrant and deeply expressive. Floral notes add brightness on the deep, textured finish. I especially like the way the Ornato just keeps getting better and better in the glass. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021. (AG)  (4/2012)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright medium red with an amber edge. Very pure, complex but austere aromas of medicinal raspberry and truffle, plus a suggestion of raisin. The powerful fruit seems less primary than that of the 2004 but this is in a more austere, medicinal style, showing less easy sweetness (a lower percentage of new barriques here?) and finishing with considerably more clenched tannins. Notes of nuts, smoke, truffle and tar. This one needs extended aeration, service with food, or ten years in the bottle. In their different ways, these two outstanding wines strike me as very representative examples of these two vintages. 93(+?) points  (12/2007)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 A creamy-textured, supple Barolo with strong oak overtones, it boasts aromas of coffee and vanilla layered over black cherries. It’s nicely balanced in terms of alcohol and acid, with a creamy mouthfeel and dried-spice notes on the finish. Give it a few years in the hope that the oak recedes over time.  (3/2006)

Jancis Robinson

 More big old non-French oak in this. Not much more orange than the 2006. Bright tawny ruby. More persistence in the nose than the 2006. Very piercing and charming. Lovely now. Real freshness and attack. A very good wine. Firm but fair. 18/20 points. (JR)  (9/2010)

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Varietal:

Nebbiolo

- Tar and roses are the two descriptors most associated with this red grape grown, almost solely, in Italy's Piedmont, where it has achieved fame under the guises of the incredibly and age-worthy wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Characterized by chewy tannins, high acidity, high-tone cherry and raspberry fruit and truffle aromas and flavors, Nebbiolo has rightfully earned its reputation. Sadly the late-ripening varietal is quite delicate and is prone to disease as well as damage by hail that frequently pelts the region. Outside of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is grown in the DOCs of Gattinara, Spanna and Ghemme. The Nebbiolos of the Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC in the southeastern part of Piedmont are generally lighter and more immediately approachable versions of the grape, aged for less time than Barolo and Barbaresco, which also makes them less expensive. Langhe Nebbiolos are generally made from declassified fruit from the aforementioned regions of Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo d'Alba.
Country:

Italy

- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.
Sub-Region:

Piedmont

- Piedmont is in the Northwestern region of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Piedmont is predominantly a plain where the water flows from the Swiss and French Alps to form the headwaters of the Po river. The major wine producing areas are in the southern portion of the region in the hills known as the "Langhe". Here the people speak a dialect that is 1/3 French and 2/3 Italian that portrays their historical roots. Their cuisine is one of the most creative and interesting in Italy. Nebbiolo is the King grape here, producing Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, the Barbera and Dolcetto are the workhorse grapes that produce the largest quantity of wine. Piedmont is predominantly a red wine producing area. There are a few whites made in Piedmont, and the Moscato grape produces a large volume of sweet, semi-sweet and sparkling wines as well.
Specific Appellation:

Barolo

- Made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, these wines take their name from the village of Barolo. A maximum of 205,000 cases per year can be made from 3081 acres of land divided between 11 communes and more than 1200 growers. La Morra, Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Monforte and Serralunga are the most important communes and produce most of the exported wine. Barolo is a powerhouse wine in some communes but also more delicate in others (La Morra is the most delicate and Serralunga the most powerful). Recent technological and viticultural advances are remaking Barolo into a wine that is more consistent balanced. Producers here do not want to change the flavor or feel of their wines, only improve and eliminate poor winemaking technique. A wine of great perfume, body and size the classic nose of "tar and roses". Barolo is best served with roast meats the Piemontese classic would be "Stracotto del Barolo or pot roast cooked with a Barolo, game birds or powerful cheese.