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Flat front label of wine

Elvio Cogno Bricco dei Merli Barbera 2013

Barbera from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
  • JS91
  • WE90
14% ABV
  • JS92
  • WS90
  • JS90
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Bright ruby red in color with clear crimson highlights. Deep, full perfumes, elegant, well-balanced and enduring, reminiscent of rose, undergrowth and oriental spices. Very powerful bouquet, sweetened by overall softness. Fine structure accompanied by lively acidic freshness. Flavors conjure up Morello cherry and plum jam with a long finish of withered grape.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 91
James Suckling
Lots of dried berry, apple and lemon aromas and flavors. Medium to full body, outstanding acid tension and a long and flavorful finish.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Aromas of mature dark-skinned fruit, scorched earth, exotic spice and a whiff of blue flower lead the way. The vibrant, savory palate doles out juicy black cherry, plum, ground pepper and anise set in a framework of racy acidity and softly polished tannins. Enjoy through 2018.
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Elvio Cogno

Elvio Cogno

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Elvio Cogno, Alba, Piedmont, Italy
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The Elvio Cogno winery sits on the top of Bricco Ravera, a hill near Novello in the Langhe area of Piedmont, one of the eleven communes in which Barolo is produced. The cellar is housed in an 18th-century manor farm surrounded by 11 hectares of land, all occupied by vineyards.

After a long and fruitful partnership with Marcarini at La Morra, in 1990 Cogno bought a splendid historical farm in the family village and restored it to its former glory. Today the winery nestles in a breathtaking landscape between the hills and the sky. At sunset on clear days, a wonderful turquoise horizon frames the farm like a painting. Hence the name of this exceptional wine land: 'Petorchino', or blue feet.

The Cogno family has been making wine in the Langhe area for four generations: the values of history and tradition handed down by father Elvio are enhanced by the freshness and innovation introduced by his daughter Nadia and her husband Valter Fissore.

Beloved for flavorful red wines, Alba is an epicurean’s dream. The historic walled town at its heart is where growers from throughout the Piedmont region would once go to sell their produce to winemakers and négociants following the harvest, but today it is better recognized as one of Italy’s premiere culinary destinations. Sandwiched between Barolo and Barbaresco, the best vineyards, located atop sunny, south-facing hills, are planted with Nebbiolo. A popular entry-level alternative to its pricier neighbors, Nebbiolo d’Alba is softer and less tannic, ready to drink within just a couple years of bottling.

Dolcetto, one of Piedmont’s more easygoing varieties, is commonly grown here, known as Dolecetto d'Alba, and can often be found casually served in carafes on the tables of Alba’s oseterias and trattorias. These light and smooth wines are meant to be drunk young and with gusto while the region’s more serious wines age. Barbera is planted here as well, and takes on a more powerful, structured personality than that of its counterparts in Asti.

Friendly, approachable, and full of juicy fruit flavor, Barbera produces wines in a wide range of styles, from young and fruity to serious, spicy, and age-worthy. Piedmont is the most famous source of Barbera, but is also planted in the Italian provinces of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. It is one of the most successful and lasting remnants of the Cal-Italian movement, grown throughout the state of California—particularly in the Sierra Foothills—and has also found a foothold in parts of Australia.

In the Glass

Barbera is typically marked by red cherry, raspberry, and blackberry flavors backed by a signature zingy acidity and smooth tannins. More complex examples can include notes of cocoa, savory spice, anise, and nutmeg. In warmer New World climates, Barbera is all about the fruit, sometimes leaning towards over-ripe or dried fruit flavors that can give an impression of sweetness to the wine. Old World Barbera can develop intriguing notes of graphite, smoke, lavender, and violet.

Perfect Pairings

Barbera’s prominent acidity makes it a natural match with tomato-based dishes, therefore making it an easy pairing with a wide array of Italian cuisine. It works just as well with lighter red meat dishes, hamburgers, or barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Most Barbera wines come from one of two villages in Piemonte—Alba and Asti. Though it is difficult to generalize, typically Barbera d’Asti is softer and more elegant with bright, tangy acidity, while Barbera d’Alba tends to be fuller, rounder, and fleshier.

YNG315922_2013 Item# 137885