A while back I posted on ‘Nebbiolo, I’d love to like you more’, which drew some very intelligent responses. I’m sure I lost a few followers – people who realized that if I question the greatness of Nebbiolo, I clearly have no palate and am not a serious person. I understand.
But even if I am not serious, I am open minded. So I have started seeking out what people consider to be good examples of this complex variety. Here are two Barolos from Pio Cesare, who are imported into the UK by MMD. I guess you’d describe Pio Cesare as a modernist traditionalist. They’re using a combination of small French oak and the more traditional large oak casks, and they are a reasonably sized producer with 50 hectares of their own vineyards, as well as sourcing from growers.
Pio Cesare Barolo 2009 Piedmont, Italy
14.5% alcohol. Attractive nose of cherries, plums, spice, some floral notes, a hint of dried herbs, and some tea and roses. The palate is grippy and tannic with sweet, warm, ripe cherries and plums, good acidity and a hint of tar. Drying, tannic mouthfeel. There’s real interest here: warm and ripe but angular and fresh at the same time. 91/100
Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato 2009 Piedmont, Italy
14.5% alcohol. An ornate nose of cherries, spice, roses, turned earth and dried herbs. The palate is fresh, bright and cherryish with grippy tannins lurking under the delicate, sweet cherry fruit. Already has some complexity with minerals, earth and herbs. There’s a sweetness here that works nicely in fusion with the savoury notes. Distinctly Barolo and quite structured, with the potential for development. 94/100
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