This is a layered and beautiful chardonnay with wonderful character. Full-bodied, deep and focused. Love the phenolic tension and seriousness. Cooked apples and pineapples and hints of vanilla and cream. Drink or hold.
The Pio Cesare 2017 Langhe Chardonnay Piodilei opens to a few whiffs of smoke and flint before you get to the orchard and passion fruits that are at the core of this pretty white wine. The wine is oak fermented, and you get hints of toasted almond, honey and ripe melon along the way. Despite the hot vintage, the style of this wine embraces freshness, lightness and elegance. A pair with sea urchin is just what I was thinking. Some 10,000 bottles are on the market now.
Pio Cesare’s Chardonnay comes from estate vines in the Cascina II Bricco vineyard in Treiso and the Colombaro vineyard in Serralunga d’Alba. A cool and rainy spring gradually gave way to plenty of warmth in late summer, allowing for slow ripening. This is a rich. oaky style thanks to barrel-fermentation and maturation on its lees for 10 months in one-third new wood. Its broad on the palate. with lovely freshness and a lick of lime accompanying the oak-spiced mid-palate. Despite the richness, the acidity brings elegance and balance. It will pair well with a feta salad or tempura squid.
Drinking Window 2019 – 2026
Drinking window: 2019 – 2024
Pio Cesare’s 2016 Chardonnay Piodilei is a pretty, nuanced mid-weight Chardonnay with good varietal character and depth. Slate, smoke and mint add nuance to a host of orchard fruit flavors.
I would prefer to drink the 2016 over the next few years.
The 2016 Langhe Chardonnay Piodilei is shaping up very nicely. Tasted as an unfinished sample, this wine will be released in the upcoming months. This vintage of Pio Cesare’s oak-fermented Chardonnay shows clean integration and substantial aromas of tropical and stone fruit. There is some oak spice and smoke at the edges, but this cooler vintage puts more focus on varietal purity and identity. Some 12,000 bottles will hit the market.