Elvio Cogno: Piedmont Lost a Great One

Piedmont lost a great one this week! I read about Elvio Cogno's passing this morning and took a little time to reflect on how important this man was to Piedmont. He certainly had an impact on me. 

I have loved Cogno's wines since tasting my first bottle about a decade ago. His work in the Ravera vineyard changed Barolo forever. I still call this vineyard the greatest vineyard in the world that nobody's ever heard of. That may have changed last year after Vietti's Barolo Ravera earned 100 points. Maybe it's about time the world gave both Ravera and Cogno the credit that is due. 

 Cogno's estate perched at the top of the Ravera Cru

Cogno's estate perched at the top of the Ravera Cru

For me, it was a sure thing that I would cross paths with Cogno over and over again. My favorite Barolo tends to come from the commune of La Morra. It was there that Cogno first left his mark in the 1960's, creating some of Marcarini's legendary wines from the Brunate vineyard. I continue to seek-out wines from this site, and am always excited when I come across an example touched by Cogno's hand. 

It was not until the 2008 vintage, however, that I truly began to understand how important Cogno was to Piedmont. When I tasted and offered Cogno's 2008 Barolo Ravera to our clients at City Wine Merchant, I wrote that "I believe that this is the next big name in Piedmont." There was just something special about that wine, which was priced at only $43. There was something special and unique about that vineyard. Ravera remained a relative secret until 2014, when Antonio Galloni awarded 100 points to the 2010 Vietti Barolo Ravera. 

In his review of that wine, Galloni wrote: "The 2010 Ravera may well be the single greatest Barolo Luca Currado has ever made. It is also a wine that, along with the Barolos of Elvio Cogno, show just how much potential the hills of Ravera have to offer." Even though the secret is out, Cogno still hasn't has his due. Hopefully history will remember him as one of the greats.