Elvio Cogno’s reputation in the Piedmont was established long before he purchased his own property in Novello almost twenty years ago. His mark had been made at the renowned Marcarini estate in La Morra, bridging the theoretical gap between traditionalists and modernists in the region’s ongoing if slightly overdone viticultural controversy.

Though more recognized for his cru Barolos, the self proclaimed old school winemaker’s masterful hand is nowhere more evident than in the 1999 Montegrillo Langhe Rosso DOC. There’s such depth of intoxicating mushroom, loamy earth, and leaf carpeted forest floor that if you shut your eyes you’re transported to an autumn truffle hunt in the Albeisa hills. Ten years in the fruit has evolved, generously offering matured dark berries and currants in a rich, lushly dense framework that fills the mouth, all the while retaining its distinctive terroir characteristics. The tannins are still lean, providing a solid resting place for the complexity of the lengthy finish in this balanced 50/50 blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera.