Sunday, March 31, 2019

Pio Cesare Barolo, 1970

This wine was already entering its second decade when I bought it, along with a number of other Piedmont wines, at a big close-out sale at G.B. Russo & Sons in Grand Rapids, MI. The original price tag was for $11.79 but the sale price was $4.99--inexpensive even in the early 1980s for a Barolo. This 1970s Pio Cesare has received good marks in several tastings of older Barolos; and the last bottle I opened (about four years ago) convinced me that it was in no sign of serious decline.

The color, of course, was even lighter than the previous bottle, a brickish red that would not be considered a good sign in a  Bordeaux or Napa Cabernet. But it's a color that you should expect from a mature Barolo made in the traditional way, aged for many months in a large barrel. The bouquet is beautiful--oh so lovely--from the moment the cork is removed. Dried flowers, fruits, herbs along with a powerful balsamic element. It's really hard to keep my nose out of the glass, but what appears on my tongue is even better. Smooth as silk, no hard edges. Great intensity of flavors. Ripe tannins and just the right amount of acidity. A hint of chocolate on the finish that lasts for several minutes. Great wine!

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