2016 Pio Cesare Barbera d'Alba

SKU #1394146 91 points James Suckling

 A beautiful red with juicy plums and orange peel, as well as some smoke. Medium body. Delicious finish. Drink now.  (9/2018)

90 points Vinous

 The 2016 Barbera d'Alba is pliant, supple and absolutely delicious. Sweet red cherry/plum fruit is nicely pushed forward in this racy, perfumed Barbera. In 2016, the Barbera is a bit less exuberant than it has been in previous years, but it is nevertheless quite tasty. (AG)  (5/2019)

Jancis Robinson

 Bright mid ruby with orange tinges. Savoury and still quite closed on the nose. Super-elegant, supple, almost fresh palate with fine-grained long tannins that go on and on together with the fruit. Can be approached now (although this is not bottled yet), while 2015 needs more time. (WS)  (11/2018)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Pio Cesare 2016 Barbera d'Alba is a dark and juicy red wine with the power and substance to pair with grilled sausage or porchetta. You need a robust food with some fat to match the wine's dense and smooth appeal. This cooler vintage offers tart acidity, and this is another important pairing quality when it comes to fatty foods. This is a very attractive and versatile red wine offered at a value price. (ML)  (9/2018)

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Price: $22.99
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- Thanks goodness for Italy's wine revolution! If not for the intrepid producers who reduced yields and focused their energy on improving quality in Italian wine production, we may have never known how delicious Barbera could be. Native to Italy, Piedmont's Monferrato is most often cited as its birthplace (though others argue that Oltrepò Pavese in Lombardy is its rightful home) with records of vineyard plantings dating back as far as 1246. Best known and most planted in its dark-skinned iteration (there is a white version of the grape called Barbera Bianca), the world's top Barberas come from Piedmont's Alba, Asti and Monferrato DOCs and styles can vary significantly depending on climate and soil. But you can always count on Barbera for its distinct ruby red color, vibrant acidity and mild tannins. Juicy red fruit and hints of smokiness are also common characteristics. Grown elsewhere in Italy, Barbera is used in varietal wines and as a blending grape to varying degrees of success. Outside of Italy it has also been planted extensively in North and South America, but most successfully in California, where it was planted by Italian immigrants and long, warm growing seasons give this late-harvest varietal the chance to develop complex flavors to compete with its racy acidity.


- 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.