Having just returned from Piemonte, Simon has become fascinated with one specific ‘Cru’ of Barolo, namely Ravera. This is arguably the most important vineyard within the district of Novello and we are pleased to offer the 2012 Barolo, Ravera from Elvio Cogno at £195 per 6 bottle case in bond. OUr offer, below.
Ravera is a large vineyard, lying to the east of Barolo and extending from the town of Barolo itself to Novello. Wines from this increasingly well-regarded vineyard can show a certain austerity in their youth allied to richness of fruit and possess the capacity to age gracefully over decades. At an altitude of 380 metres, it is a cooler vineyard than many, and has excelled in some of the warmer, more recent Piemontese vintages. Critics like Antonio Galloni, have highlighted the fact that global warming has brought forward harvest dates for Nebbiolo and therefore cooler sites at altitude are coming into their own. Conversely, certain well-exposed sites facing full-south have produced much bolder wines as a result of recent warmer summers. I have been impressed by multiple vintages of Ravera that I have had the chance to taste over the last three or four vintages from three of our favoured producers, namely Elvio Cogno, GD Vajra and Vietti.
Talking with Valter Fissore of Elvio Cogno the week before last proved fascinating as virtually their entire estate is based in Ravera, around the farm of Cascina Nuova. It is rare in Piemonte to survey one grower’s vineyards and find 95% of them surrounding the property. Just as with Burgundy, Piemonte is really a complex patchwork quilt of different vineyard parcels, at different altitudes and with different exposures, and growers may own parcels in many locations across the length and breadth of the Barolo region. Valter highlighted that the benefits of Ravera, from which he produces three distinctive, high quality Barolo, are not solely limited to its altitude. He explained that the vineyard also benefits from cool air flow from the alps which, on a clear day, are easily visible to the north-west and make for a spectacular backdrop. It is beyond doubt that Nebbiolo thrives here; this pernickety grape variety has its ideal terroir, ideal attitude and a lengthier hang-time on the vine.
It is also fascinating to consider that there are still many blended Barolo, that comprise fruit drawn from various sites across the region. This was, after all, the traditional manner of production; the advent of a Cru system, where specific single vineyard wines are made, was a latter day innovation. Some of the most famous blended Barolo from the region feature a proportion of fruit from Ravera, whether it be Sandrone’s Le Vigne or Rinaldi’s Tre Tine. The potential of this vineyard was recognised long before this recent surge of interest.
Following a superb tasting at Cogno’s Cascina Nuova, I am really pleased to highlight a parcel of their impressive 2012. Given how well this 2012 was showing, I expect a bright future ahead. The best examples of 2012 Barolo show in a classical vein and this is one of them. Having been aged in large Slavonian oak barrels for 30 months prior to bottling, the 2012 Ravera is striking in terms of aromatics with a wonderfully sleek, refined fruit on the palate. The ripe, fresh core of captures notes of cranberry, mulberry and dark cherry. Possessing admirable depth with a floral lift to the fruit, there are hints of mint, liquorice and spice to the finish. I rate this example very highly and remain struck by the value it offers. I would not be surprised to see the reviews step up from here as the wine develops further in bottle.
2012 Barolo, Ravera, Elvio Cogno
94 points, Antonio Galloni
£195 per 6 bottle case in bond
The 2012 Barolo Ravera is another gorgeous wine from Cogno. An exotic melange of orange peel, cinnamon, spices, licorice and dried rose petal lifts from the glass as this sublime, nuanced Barolo gradually opens up. Deceptively medium in body, the 2012 Ravera captures the pedigree of this great Barolo site. The Ravera emerges from 70 year-old vines, 60% Lampia and 40% Michet in terms of clonal composition. With time, the Ravera gains weight, power and intensity, all with streaks of supporting tannin that give the wine its sense of proportion. Drink 2022-2042
Cogno is certainly a name to watch; the quality and value of their wines stands out each time I get the chance to taste.
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