Elvio Cogno

Piedmont, Italy

Pre-Phylloxera Barbera d’Alba DOC – 2012

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  • Introduction

    • This selection of Barbera is called “Pre-Phylloxera” because it is the only Barbera d’Alba DOC produced from ungrafted vines of Barbera. The wine is a unique and exclusive product — to taste this wine is to discover the original characteristics of the indigenous Barbera grape. The vineyard was planted more than 120 years ago, before the arrival of Phylloxera in Langhe, and has survived due to the sandy soil in this location, which Phylloxera, a root-feeding aphid, cannot abide. The vines come from pre-grafted plants and are propagated by cuttings.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Location: in Località Berri, in the village of La Morra
    • Cultivation: 100% organic (not yet certified)
    • Size: 0.25 hectare (0.62 acre)
    • Vine Age: 120+ years
    • Soil: Very rich in sand, which is a natural protection from Phylloxera attacks (originally Phylloxera vitifolii, now officially Dactylasphaera vitifoliae)
    • Elevation: 520 meters (1,706 feet)
    • Exposure: Southern
    • Density: 4,500 vines/acre (1,821 vines/acre)
    • Training: Vertical trellising, Guyot pruning
  • Vintage Report

    • The winter was warm until the end of January, when the temperature collapsed, and for a month we endured a very cold spell (as low as  minus 15 C or 5 F) and a great deal of snow. The start of the vegetative activity in the vineyards was delayed. The spring months were somewhat cold and rainy, only by the end of June did the temperatures rise to normal. July and August were warm without excessive heat, while autumn was mild and dry.

    • Harvest Date(s): September 30
  • Vinification

    • Fermentation: 100% in stainless steel fermenters with 9-12 days skin contact, temperature-controlled, automatic pump-overs; 100% with indigenous yeast
    • Malolactic: 100% in steel fermenters
    • Aging: 1 year in used, 25-hectoliter (660-gallon) Slavonian oak
    • Filtration: None
    • Bottle Aging: 6 months
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Barbera
    • Alcohol: 14%
  • Tasting Notes

    • A bright, rich ruby color with intense purplish highlights. The aroma is enveloping, aromatic and deep, with noticeable spices on first impact and raspberry, strawberry and ripe cherry notes, finishing with pleasant harmonies of wild flowers. On the palate it is well- structured and fresh; the acidity is excellently balanced, the tannin characteristic is embracing and the flavors remind one of sour cherries, blackberries and prunes.
      Serving Suggestions: At 18 C (65 F) with starter dishes with meaty sauces and also red or wild meat; it does justice to strong cheeses – savory or seasoned
      Aging Potential: 10-15 years



  • Pre-Phylloxera Barbera d’Alba DOC – 2012 – 91 points – Decanter

    “Ungrafted cuttings from vines more than 100 years old. Lots of depth, rich and smooth — very impressive and interesting.”

  • Pre-Phylloxera Barbera d’Alba DOC – 2012 – 93 points – jamessuckling.com

    "A reserved but intense Barbera with grilled-meat, mushroom and dark-berry character. Full body with layers of glorious, wild, ripe fruit. Mesmerizing red. From ancient vines."

  • Pre-Phylloxera Barbera d’Alba DOC – 2012 – 90 points – vinous

    “Rose petal, pomegranate, cranberry and mint lift from the glass. The aromas and flavors are bright and precise, while the sweet, perfumed finish makes it hard to move on. There is plenty to admire in this handcrafted, cask-aged, old-vine Barbera.”

  • Pre-Phylloxera Barbera d’Alba DOC – 2012 – 91 points – Wine Spectator

    "Succulent acidity defines the bright cherry and floral notes, while a touch of oak adds spice and texture. Everything is in the right place as this turns chewy on the finish."