Visiting Elvio Cogno in 2014, it became clear that they are still a family business. They are working organically for 5 years now, still in the process of certification. The Cogno family has been making wine in the Langhe area for four generations. The historic values of winemaking were passed down by father Elvio. These traditional methods are enhanced by the freshness and innovation of his daughter Nadia and her husband Valter Fissore. In 1990 they bought an old farm on top of Bricco Ravera (with a splendid view, check out the pictures). This hill is located near Novello in the Langhe area of Piedmont, one of the eleven communes in which Barolo is produced. They restored the old granaries and created a state of the art winery, with respect for the heritage of four generations of winemakers. This is illustrated by the use of big Slavonian barrels of 2000 liters. They use as little as possible small barriques to create noble and elegant Nebbiolo’s like their fathers did.
Off course Nebbiolo is their main business, and as you can see on the pictures it gets the best exposure. Apart from the excellent Nebbiolo, Elvio Cogno is also famous for the lesser known white grape Nascetta, family of the Vermentino of Sardinia. For us, this grape has Riesling-like qualities: the same complexity, a little bit aromatic, with white flowers and herbs, citrus and exotic fruits. Just like Riesling, it ages very well, and pairs with delicate fish, white meat or Burrata cheese. With 10.000 bottles and 1ha (out of a total of 7ha) Elvio Cogno is really the main Nascetta producer. Together with the other producers, they succeeded to promote it to DOC Nascetta di Novello last year. Next to the pure Nascetta wines, they also use it in their Langhe Bianco, sometimes with Chardonnay. This is a clearly a perfect wine for young sommeliers who are looking for something different, something hip. A wine with a wide spectrum of dishes to pair and a story to tell.
The second wine we very much appreciated was their Dolcetto. Dolcetto is the daily wine for the people of Piedmont. However, producing a good Dolcetto is not straightforward. Neither in the vineyard (not too much rain but not too much sun either), nor in the cellar. Nevertheless, Elvio Cogno delivers upon the task, bringing forward an intense nose of red cherries. Their Langhe Rosso was also interesting. The wine is made with 50% Nebbiolo and 50% Barbera (fermented together) resulting in the fruit of a Barbera paired with the structure of a Nebbiolo.
Topping it all off, their real king is their Barolo: a violet orange color, a nose who offers scents of flowers and light, delicate spices and a long mineral aromatic finish. Although elevated in traditional big barrels, this is what we call a Barolo new style, still ethereal and complex, but you don’t have to wait 20 years to drink it. The wine can give you a splendid Barolo experience even after 3 years of ageing. On a final note, the Barbera “Pre-Phylloxera” is well worth mentioning. As they don’t produce it every year we did not have the chance to taste is but it should have a lot of ripe fruit paired with a nice acidity.
Pleased to discover Elvio Cogno family, we really like their vision on their wines, looking for something new or different but still keeping the work of their grandfathers in mind.