Elvio Cogno is a 33-acre estate in the Langhe. The Cogno family history in the area dates back several centuries during which the Cognos always cultivated grapevines. By the mid-20 century the family was also running a beloved restaurant in La Morra and using their own grapes to make wine to serve at the restaurant. The wine was so popular that in the late 1950s Elvio Cogno left the restaurant business to make wine full time. He collaborated with La Marcarini winery in La Morra, and his debut commercial release was a 1961 Barolo. He went on to become one of the region’s most admired winemakers. In 1990 Cogno purchased an 18th century farmhouse and surrounding vineyards, updating both. Today the estate is run by Elvio’s daughter Nadia Cogno and her husband Valter Fissore. The estate produces Barolos and other Langhe wines that are highly praised by wine writers, including the influential Italian journal Gambero Rosso, which notes that “each wine (made at the estate) is better than the last.” Robert M. Parker Jr. has written that the estate’s wines “are consistently excellent to outstanding.” Cogno produces 80,000 bottles annually.
Barbera d’Alba is a DOC centered around the town of Alba, and it is considered home to some of the best wines made from the Barbera grape. Barbera is the most frequently planted grape in Piedmont, thanks to its adaptability and vigorous character. It is easier to grow and less susceptible to adverse weather than Nebbiolo, which is grown in neighboring appellations. Barbera in general has relatively low tannins but high acidity, and the wines tend to have flavors of ripe currant and cherry. The Barbera DOC was created in 1970 and the DOC wines must be 100% Barbera.
This red wine is from Piedmont. It is known for low tannins and high acidity, which makes it taste both light-bodied and rich. Barbera most often drinks early, but some variations can be cellared. The wine is relatively inexpensive and flexible for pairing.