Sunday, April 25, 2010

An Evening of Pio Cesare


Al DeMeo and I spent a cool and rainy April evening by the fire tasting two wines from a classic old world producer from Piedmonte, Italy, Pio Cesare. The first was a 1998 Barbera d'Alba. This wine was decanted for a 2 hours before pouring. The nose was interesting to say the least, a bit of red cherry that turned into a bitter odor of coffee. The tasting experience however, was disappointing. The body was uncanningly light, even for a barbera, the tannins were very low and the only real taste was that of black cherry that quickly evaporated to leave a water bitter taste. Undoubtedly, a Babera is past it's prime at 12 years.

The second wine was a 2005 Barolo. This wine had an overpowering nose of deep black cherry and alcohol.I have always thought the nebbiolo grape wines have a distinct odor, much like that slivery mettalic whiff that fills the air before a late spring or early summer rainstorm. This wine was no exception. In terms of its state, the tannins were intense and overpowering, although the taste of black cherry did a great job of maintaining it's own against that natural tannic nature of the Nebbiolo. There is no question that this wine needs about 5 to 7 more years of aging and it will be stellar. As the tannins soften and the alcohol burns off, this wine will open up new flavors to the pallet. It was evident even as we drank it over a few hours that aging will increase the smoothness and deliver a long lasting tasting experience to the drinker. Buy this one and put it away. It will be one of the great ones.

3 comments:

Jon-Paul said...

Great post, Ant--sorry to hear that one Barbera jumped the shark--so, if you had to give them scores based on our typical scale, what might they be?

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