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December 10, 2019

Wayne Belding’s Wine of the Year for 2019: Elvio Cogno Barolo Bricco Pernice 2013

My Wine of the Year for 2019 comes from one of my favorite regions – the Piemonte of Northwest Italy.  Years ago, one of my first experiences with truly great Barolo was a wine made by Elvio Cogno.  Cogno was the winemaker at the Marcarini estate in La Morra when he crafted the magnificent 1967 Barolo Brunate Riserva.  At sixteen years of age, the wine was absolutely enchanting – ethereal, exotic, complex and compelling. 

That tasting experience transformed my sense of what Barolo could be.  I enjoyed the fruits of Cogno’s craft for many years after that initial revelation.  My interest in Cogno wines followed Elvio when, after a long and illustrious career at Marcarini, he started his own winery in 1990.

The Elvio Cogno estate is located in the village of Novello, nestled between Monforte d’Alba and Barolo itself.  The Ravera vineyard is the top vineyard in Novello and the Bricco Pernice, now recognized under its own name, is the best site in the Ravera vineyard for Nebbiolo vines.  Elvio Cogno’s daughter Nadia and her husband Valter Fissore now run the Cogno estate and create classic, elegant Barolos. 

Cogno’s 2013 Bricco Pernice is a benchmark for the entire Barolo appellation.  The long ripening period of the 2013 harvest adds depth and nuance to an already exquisite wine.  The bouquet is forward and complex, with sweet cherry and raspberry fruits enhanced by the classic “forest floor” style of Barolo – elements of sandalwood, dried leaves, flowers, cocoa, herbs, anise, and baking spices are all present and in harmony.  The flavors are multilayered and rich with the ripe red fruits interwoven with leafy, herbal elements as well as the sandalwood, vanilla and spice components. 

Although approachable and thoroughly enjoyable now for its generous fruit, the 2013 Cogno Ravera Bricco Pernice Barolo will develop and improve for another 20+ years in the cellar.  Imported by Wilson-Daniels with a suggested retail price of $104.  96 Points


Posted by Wayne Belding at 10:07 AM