Garnet color and orange tint on rim. Wildly aromatic with dried and fresh herbs, tobacco, truffle, and a core of raspberries. The nose is full of fresh roses and dried earth as well. It is a myriad of earth, spice, and fruit on the palate. The finish also gives way to a bright juicy acidity that counters the substantial tannins.
The name Crichet Pajé comes from the Piemontese dialect. When the Italian State was created, each parcel of land was given an official name. The word Crichet is translated as “top of the small hill”. This is our ultimate location for the cultivation of Nebbiolo. The Nebbiolo grape performs best when it is well exposed as well as sheltered from the strongest winds; Pajé term refers to the vineyard location.
Crichet Pajé is a micro parcel which is particularly rich in white calcareous soil. The vineyard is 0.5 hectare with a unique microclimate which enjoys a view over the Tanaro river valley. The exposition mitigates the cold winters and hot summers. The vineyard is located in the center of the Pajé designated area with additional area facing Southwest.
The youngest vines are more than 60 years-old with all vines regenerated by using clippings from other vines exclusively located within the same area. In fact, some of the vines have been propagated by using ungrafted vines. The older vines have reached a balance of optimum production even though some plants produce only a single cluster during some years.
Crichet Pajé requires long aging in large oak barrels and is introduced to the marketplace approximately 10 years after being harvested. Our family believes this is the ultimate expression of our cellar because we value complexity and longevity in our wine.
We harvest the nebbiolo fruit manually using small crates during the month of October and usually in the morning, once the fruit is perfectly ripe. We make 2 passes in the vineyard to select the fruit and ensure its’ integrity. Fermentation takes place for 10 days and we use exclusively large wood casks and indigenous yeasts. We then follow the ancient technique of maceration by splinting the submerged cap which can last for 80-90 days. The wine is then aged in neutral oak barrels.
The production of Crichet Pajé is extremely small, in some years we produce fewer than 1000 bottles. The maximum production is just over 2000 bottles and our larger size bottles of magnums, double magnums, and 5 litres bottles are even rarer still. We number each bottle. This 5000ml bottle is equivalent to 6.6 bottles or 33-40 glasses.