2007 Elvio Cogno Barolo Ravera
Expert Rating
RP 93+ points
(Read the full review below)
 
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Vineyards of Elvio Cogno 93+ Points and The Importer's Bible at Corte Gondina

They were always among the most enjoyable mornings on the wine trail. Our room at Corte Gondina in La Morra was oversized and airy, just a 10 minute walk down the hill to Veglio, or ten more up to Belvedere at the top of the town. Breakfast was a buffet. You name, they had it. Smoked salmon, prosciutto, soft boiled eggs, fresh baked bread, half a dozen cheeses, piping hot, thick, rich black coffee. But as good as the breakfast was the reading that accompanied it.

Antonio Galloni was born in the U.S., but every time you picked up his Piedmont Report, you couldn't help but think that he'd been weaned on Barolo. Exhaustive, phenomenally detailed, and strongly opinionated, when importers came to Corte Gondina, The Piedmont Report was their bible.

Galloni had no shortage of material. Barolo is the most challenging world-class trail on the globe. Nebbiolo is notoriously fickle and difficult to ripen. Even the likes of Marcarini, Grasso, Altare and Conterno often had to outwork and outthink their counterparts in Bordeaux and Burgundy to have a shot at reaching similar heights. The soil composition changed markedly as you made the run from the clayey soils of La Morra to the rugged limestone of Serralunga. While the aromatics of top pedigree Barolo are ethereally complex, the tannins that come with are often difficult to tame. Galloni elegantly danced from the soft modernity of the new school roto-fermentors, to the signature determination of the traditionalists -- making perfect sense of all. The Piedmont Report was first published in 2004. By 2006, it wasn't just guys like us who couldn't get enough of Galloni's writings over breakfast at Corte Gardoni. Robert Parker had taken like notice.

Since 2006, when Galloni first began contributing to The Wine Advocate, Parker has ceded more and more of the critical duties to his young protégé, culminating with Galloni's first Napa Valley report in December 2011. But the Galloni coverage that still most intrigues us surrounds his first wine trail love -- Piemonte. In the unusually warm 2007 growing season, one in which many actually complained of overripeness, Galloni's report in The Wine Advocate was once again exhaustive. A handful of the region's greatest names stood out, few more so than Walter Fissore and his wife, Nadia Cogno.

Nadia's father, of course, was a guy with whom we shared lunch several times in the 1990s at Belvedere. Elvio Cogno, to many (count us as members of that club), was the godfather of Barolo traditionalism, authoring all of those Burgundian-styled Marcarini "La Serras" and "Brunates" in the 70s and 80s. When Cogno joined his daughter and her husband at his own estate in the early 90s, expectations were high. As it turned out, rightfully so.

The top wine from Nadia Cogno in 2007 is her "Ravera," drawn from the clayey, limestone-strewn soils of Novello. The "Ravera" Nebbiolo would reach sensational maturity, providing for juicy clusters, ripe brown seeds, and unusually sumptuous tannins. If ever a vintage was scripted for the Cogno School of Barolo, 2007 would be it. Nadia -- so obviously cut from her dad's cloth -- made no mistake.

The world's most heralded Piedmont critic described the 2007 Barolo "Ravera" as "a big, muscular Barolo endowed with layers of dark fruit, mocha, leather, licorice and smoke," suggesting that it will still be going strong 2025. Then he lobbed on the 93+ score that sent Bible reading importers scrambling.

As is the case for most of the top shelf Baroli of 2007, there's precious little to spread around today. After a little arm wrestling with Nadia Cogno's importer, and on the heels of a WineAccess success story two weeks ago, the importer packaged up a present. 360 bottles -- we're told the largest allocation in America -- have been earmarked for WineAccess. $70/bottle around the country. Something far juicier today. Absolutely not to be missed by serious Italian wine collectors.


Tasting Notes

2007 Elvio Cogno Barolo Ravera
"The 2007 Barolo Ravera shows marvelous depth and richness, but is not hugely different from the Cascina Nuova, perhaps because the vintage has such a strong influence in both wines. It is a big, muscular Barolo endowed with layers of dark fruit, mocha, leather, licorice and smoke. A large, scaled dramatic finish rounds out this compelling, totally delicious Barolo. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025."
93+ points -- Antonio Galloni, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

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