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In Barolo, 11 Distinct Villages Create the King of Wines

BY KERIN O’KEEFE

Traditionally, Barolo has been made by blending Nebbiolo from different vineyards and from more than one of the 11 villages. While that approach is still the backbone of the denomination, many producers also make single-designation Barolos from the 170 officially delimited crus or vineyard sites (technically known as Additional Geographical Mentions or Definitions) spread out among the villages.

Novello

Bordering on the town of Barolo, Novello has several good vineyards and one of the denomination’s premier vineyard sites, Ravera. Before the 1990s, some producers sourced grapes from here for their blended Barolos, but the village remained little known.

The late producer Elvio Cogno changed this with his Barolo Ravera 1991, the village’s first single-vineyard bottling.

“Our Ravera combines body and finesse, thanks to the cru’s breezy microclimate that generates marked day and night temperature variations, predominantly limestone soil and 50–75 year old vines,” says Valter Fissore, winemaker and co-owner of Elvio Cogno with his wife, Nadia Cogno.

Wines to Try:

Elvio Cogno 2016 Ravera; $112, 99 points. From the estate that proved the extraordinary quality of the Ravera subzone, this compelling wine opens with heady scents of rose, iris, perfumed berry, new leather and camphor. Focused and full bodied, the precise palate is delicious and firmly structured, featuring ripe red cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice and tobacco framed in tightly knit fine-grained tannins. Fresh acidity keeps it beautifully balanced and lends youthful tension. Drink 2024–2056. Wilson Daniels Ltd. Cellar Selection.

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11/19/20
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In Barolo, 11 Distinct Villages Create the King of Wines