Pio Cesare, a well known and loved winery brand has been producing small quantities of Barolo Chinato and Vermouth since the beginning of history. In the 1950’s the brand stopped due to deeply changing tastes and palate preferences. Today however, that is no longer the case and we can welcome back these wonderful traditional Italian wine and wine based aperitifs!
“Recently, the finest customers began to look for traditional character, strong personality and great individuality in aromatic wines and in wine-based aperitifs. As a result, we have decided again to produce small amounts of Barolo Chinato and Vermouth. We follow our secret family recipe locked and guarded for many years under the careful supervision of our Grandmother, the Founder’s granddaughter. Therefore in 2016 we have started to produce a limited quantity of each of these wines and we will be offering the first bottles to a select clientele in Italy and around the world. We are committed to bringing these great wines back again so that they can regain the celebrity, fame and uniqueness of the past.”- Piocesare.it
Barolo Chinato is produced with an infusion of chinchona (China Calissaja and Succirubra barks) and macerated for 21 days in a small amount of the brands signature Barolo (wine). Then, with the addition of a mixture of aromatic herbs, the proper amount of Barolo is added. After a light fining, the infusion is aged for 4 months in oak barrels, then bottled, and after an additional aging of at least 2 months happens until it finally becomes the Pio Cesare Barolo Chinato! This style of wine is absolutely beautiful and has expressions of raisin, figs, and cooked black fruits. On the palate it is bold, smooth, and seductive.
In addition to absinthe, which is essential for the preparation of Pio Cesare’s Vermouth, the brand uses a mixture of 26 aromatic herbs which are a critical part of the family recipe. They then add a blend of different Pio Cesare white wines, including the Moscato d’Asti. After a 15-day maceration period, the Vermouth obtained is aged in oak barrels for at least 4 months.
The vermouth is then almost complete, with the addition of caramel, which gives it its light color, and its distinctive aromas and taste.
In order to really appreciate this type of Vermouth, especially one carefully crafted like Pio Cesare’s, sip it “Piemontese style”, with no ice and just a little slice of lemon zest; it’s truly divine!
Barolo Chinato and Vermouth are certainly an acquired taste, however the Barolo Chinato won my heart. I had the pleasure of dining at The Red Cat in NYC while sipping some Chinato and Vermouth, along wit other Pio Cesare wines. Although the Chinato is a bit sweet, it paired beautifully with delicious savory dishes from The Red Cat such as the Beef Tartare, Roasted Chicken, and String Bean Tempura Fries. It’s a daring pairing, but absolutely worth a try!
If you’re seeking something new to sip in your cocktails, or something to give to friends or clients that would make a great gift then the Vermouth is a must have. If you simply want to try something different and unique with a lot of character and history… try the Chinato or the Vermouth for yourself; your palate will thank you!