It can certainly be said that the Elvio Cogno Barolo was originally conceived under the sign of the purest tradition of vine, wine and land, never losing or compromising its identity over the years.
Elvio Cogno, founder of the family company, who died a year ago after decades of work in the vineyard and in the cellar, had a fixed goal in mind: to exploit the great potential of wines from the Langhe, and in particular the area of Novello, a town in in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont. He started off by working at the Angelo Restaurant in La Morra (Cuneo), then collaborated with the Marcarini company.
In 1961 he started his own and bottled his first Barolo. Elvio Cogno was a precursor: in 1964, ahead of time, he wrote on the label the name of the vineyard of origin of his wine: the first denomination was Barolo Brunate. The real turn of events came in 1990: the purchase of Cascina Nuova, in Ravera, under the town of Novello.
Elvio Cogno is unanimously considered one of the great patriarchs of Barolo. Today his work is carried on by his daughter Nadia and his son-in-law, Valter Fissore, with a new generation of Cogno on the way: his granddaughter Elena.
Elvio Cogno’s first Nebbiolo harvest in his new company was carried out in 1991.
The production philosophy is classic and traditional with long fermentations and refinement in large barrels. But the relationship with the earth is innovative: the terroir is thoroughly investigated and brought to understanding, deepening the relationship between the winemaker, the vine, the land and the environment. It aims to ensure that this mixture of factors translates into elegant, subdued, characteristic wines.
Today there are four labels of Barolo Cogno with the additional geographical mention “Ravera”, written on the label: Vigna Elena, Bricco Pernice, Cascina Nuova and Barolo “Ravera”. Ravera is the most renowned of all the Novello crus: five hectares of vineyards, about 380 meters above sea level, growing on a very compact soil of clay and limestone, rich in those minerals that give a particular flavor to wine.
I had the pleasure to taste the 2010 vintage of Barolo Elvio Cogno “Ravera”. I managed to extract so many wonders out it merely by swirling the wine and sipping. By drinking this Nebbiolo grape wine, you get to recognize just how well it preserves the Barolo tradition and classic style. It is further confirmation that the 2010 vintage was an excellent one in the Langhe as well. The bouquet includes flowers, like rose, and spices, such as incense, pink pepper, juniper. But it is also balmy with hints of mint, sweet tobacco, licorice and coffee beans. The taste wraps you up and carries you away: it is intense and slender at the same time, balanced with a long and tasty finish with its dark chocolate trail; a taste that lets the drinker fully appreciate the sapid and mineral component of this Nebbiolo, derived from the Ravera soil. Unforgettable! It is certainly an austere Barolo of undoubted elegance, apt for drinking either immediately or further on in time: it reaches its perfection after 5 to 20 years. Three cheers for the Classic Style!
Some technical data: vinification in steel, with temperature control and automatic replenishment, maceration after 30 days’ submerged cap fermentation. It is aged for 24 months in 25-30 hectolitre large Slavonian oak barrels. It is left aging on its lees for 90 days, followed by a further aging in the bottle for another 6 months.
Wine-Food matching: seasoned cheese, braised meat, game, structured and spiced roasts.
Note: MeGA is an acronym that translates to Additional Geographical Mention. Any wine thus marked is obligated to indicate on its label the exact geographical location of the vineyards from which the particular wine comes. This name is written in addition to the DOCG Barolo.
Retail price: € 50 – $ 55; My rating: 95/100
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