Luca Roagna and his family have been making some of the greatest wines in Piemonte for generations, and the quality just keeps rising. Anyone will be able to respect and admire the work of Luca Roagna: no step taken in the vineyard or the winery is without complete follow-through of thought.Standing in the middle of one of their vineyards, you almost forget it's a place to grow grapes. Grass, insects and wildlife flourish throughout the vines, which are never subjected to chemical sprays, mowing or tilling. The bio-sphere is diverse and vigorous, the soils healthy: the result is impeccably grown grapes ready to become impeccably made wine.
"Just bottled, the 2011 Barbaresco Crichët Pajè is unbelievably refined. Sweet red cherry, rosewater, mint, dried flowers, pine and kirsch give the 2011 an upper register of perfume that is utterly beguiling. Silky and classy to the core, the 2011 is the most sensual Crichët Pajè I can remember tasting. There is plenty of tannin, that is clear, but it is also pretty much buried by the sheer luxuriousness of the fruit. This is such a gorgeous and complete wine. There is just an unreal amount of freshness for this dry, torrid year. Wow!!"
"It's easy to fall into the cult of Crichët Pajé. The wine's name means 'little hill' in Piemontese dialect, and the winemaking process is carefully weighed and contemplated. The Roagna 2011 Barbaresco Crichët Pajé is fermented with indigenous yeasts, with submerged cap and sees eight long years of aging in both oak and cement. Fruit is drawn from a half-hectare, south-facing parcel high on the Pajé slope that has been farmed by this family since 1953. The bouquet reveals wild berry fruit, rose hip, cedar, crushed stone, smoke and licorice. This expression is lightweight in texture, yet it expertly balances a full load of aromas and flavors on that small frame. The heat of the vintage has not hurt the freshness or the sharpness that you perceive here. The only obstacle is that this wine from the 'little hill,' carries a hefty price tag. Some 1,560 bottles were made."
"This red is full of mulled plum, cherry, menthol, stone and spice flavors. Concentrated yet fluid, with a tightly packed finish. Well-balanced and approachable now if decanted."
"Made with extremely old vines, the youngest of which are over 60 years old and most much older, this opens with aromas of new leather, scorched earth, underbrush and balsamic notes of camphor. Concentrated and boasting a great depth of flavors, the structured, full-bodied palate delivers raspberry compote, dried black cherry, carob and hazelnut alongside firm, enveloping tannins. Another compelling wine from the estate."
VARIETALSNebbioloORGANICPracticingVINEYARDThe Crichet Paje is sourced from the top few rows of the Paje Cru, where the historic Roagna winery is located in the commune of Barbaresco. Luca's grandfather Giovanni purchased this vineyard in 1953.ORIENTATIONSouth-southwest exposure.SOILThe soil is a white calcareous marl. The Crichet parcel of Paje has the highest limestone content of all of Roagna's vineyards.VITICULTUREThe youngest vines that go into this wine are 60 years old, with most being much older than that. Hand-harvested into small crate. Luca keeps the old vines alive along as possible but if ever a vine needs to be replaced, it is propagated from an old vine from the same parcel.VINIFICATIONFermentation lasts ten days in large wood casks. They ferment with a pied de cuvee made from their indigenous yeasts. They then use the technique of submerged cap -- which can last 80-90 days.AGINGThe wine is then aged in large neutral French botti. The oak Luca uses is never toasted but instead made by using hot steam instead of flame. The wine normally ages in barrel for at least 8 years depending on the vintage. Usually never released before ten years after the harvest.PRODUCTIONNormally only about 1,000 bottles of Crichet Paje are produced.