2004 Pio Cesare Barolo

SKU #1043661 95 points James Suckling

 What a nose, I love this! Decadent and intense with blueberries, meat, truffles, and a foie gras like character. Full and very velvety, super integrated, with a long and caressing finish. A triumph.  (5/2012)

93 points Decanter

 Another cracking vintage in Barolo, which was warm and dry, producing classically styled wines for the long haul. Despite being cooler than 2007, some of the vines experienced a bit of hydric stress. This, combined with a late harvest, has added depth and concentration to the wines. Texturally, this is firm and full but also fleshy and hugely appealing thanks to the supporting acidity which provides balance and vigour. The fruit is again very much in the Pio Cesare Nebbiolo/Barolo mould; sour morello cherry with a lift of liquorice and tar, and a touch of sous bois beginning to emerge. Superb sweetness and balance here. This is drinking well now, but would also reward further patience. (JS)  (3/2017)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The estate's 2004 Barolo is very elegant in this vintage. Although the wine is firm and quite primary, the tannins are sweet, silky and refined. Today the wine reveals just a glimpse of its potential but it should develop into a gem with time. While most of the attention at Pio Cesare goes to the Barolo Ornato, this is the hidden beauty in this lineup. This Barolo is a multi-commune blend. Most of the fruit (60%) comes from the less well-exposed portions of the family’s Ornato vineyard, while the rest of the fruit is sourced from plots in La Morra, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga, Novello and Grinzane Cavour. The wine was aged in French oak casks (70%) and smaller French oak barrels (30%). (AG)  (10/2008)

92-93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium-deep red. Complex aromas of raspberry, musky tobacco and minerals; distinctly higher-pitched and more backward than the 2003 normale Then wonderfully rich and delineated, with underlying minerality accentuating the impression of primary fruit. Finishes quite long, with broad, full, thoroughly ripe tannins and terrific structure and grip. Offers impressive potential. (ST)  (11/2007)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Plenty of leather, rose and vanilla from toasty French oak make for a very pretty opening. The full-bodied palate shows exuberant cherry and boysenberry flavors wrapped in a refined tannin structure. A modern expression that can be enjoyed now or laid down to await more complexity.  (2/2010)

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Price: $89.99
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- 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.


- 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.


- 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:


- 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.