Piedmont Vapor: Roagna Barbaresco '78, '82, '85, '88

Posted by CrushWine

Piedmont Vapor:
Roagna Barbaresco Crichet Paje Riserva

A Mini-Vertical of Well-Cellared Barbaresco
1978 - 1982 - 1985 - 1988

Not much has changed at Roagna. Not, at least, for the last 120 years.

The last four generations of the proud men of the Roagna family (Vincenzo, Giovanni, Alfredo, and Luca), have safeguarded their traditional and classic style since the late 1800s, holding firm in their conviction that the combination of nature’s power and careful winemaking produces unique wines with few equals.

If you’ve ever tasted an older Roagna bottling you know that their methods result in deep, complex and structured Barolo and Barberesco.

While their wines from the mid- and late-90s are relatively plentiful, older vintages are very difficult to find, which is why I was delighted to happen upon a tiny parcel of well-stored Barbaresco Riserva "Crichët Pajè" – the family’s top wine, made only in the best vintages.

My happiness with the find increased even further when I asked a close friend and expert on the wines of the Piemonte. He said he had attended a mini-vertical of Roagna at the New York Restaurant I Trulli in the 1990s and was floored. When I asked for his thoughts on the parcel, he said, without hesitation: "Buy it all - and quickly."

The wines are great, the value maybe better, especially when you consider the prices the benchmark traditionalists receive - lowest price in the world for Conterno's 82 Cascina Francia is $370.

In the Roagna’s own words, the Riserva Crichët Pajè bottling "is the utmost expression of our winery, it is pure tradition. A half century of history places it at the excellence of our wines. It ... gives you superb emotions even opened after 20-30 years. The 1978 vintage is historical and today it is a wine in great shape, the utmost expression of tradition."

Our supply of each vintage in the mini-vertical is minuscule - only around a case of each wine or less - so please note that we’ll be allocating all bottles.

See below for more on the production methods and the terroir at Roagna. Let us know ASAP if you’re interested in acquiring some truly special bottlings of older Nebbiolo by emailing us at offers@crushwineco.com or calling the store at (212) 980-9463.

Tom Stephenson
General Manager
Crush Wine & Spirits

Roagna Barbaresco Crichet Paje Riserva

All vintages below are among the best of their respective decade.

Note: The labels on all bottles of 1982 and 1985 Crichët Pajè read "Vino Di Tavola" but are actually Barbaresco Riserva. The winery applied for their label too late in those vintages.

All wines arrive winter 2009
Net / No further Discount

Roagna non Cambia ("Roagna does not change")

Winemaking Technique:
The family motto above sums up their winemaking methods perfectly : Sixty day maceration before aging in large, Slavonian oak botti for 8+ years, no fining or filtering, neither chemical nor organic fertilizers are used - only sulphur and copper just as they did 100 years ago…to protect the environment and create wines without equal.

The Pajè Vineyard:
Southern, South-Western exposure. The soil is Tortonian, developed in the Tertiary era, and mainly composed of quartz, mica, chlorite and feldspars with marl and lime … and gives incredible tannic structure . No-joke-old-vines: Most were planted from 1937 to 1955, and all Crichët Pajè (Riserva) fruit comes from vines of at least 50 years.