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Screamin’ Pajé Hawkins

[roagna pajé]Roagna 1999 Barbaresco Pajé (Piedmont) — This takes an half-hour or so to unwind, and then improves steadily for well over an hour; I’m sure it would have continued, but the recipients of such beauty were greedy consumers. Dried flowers, dried bark, faint woodsmoke upon a parched sunrise. Fullness with delicacy, hardness with yield. A lovely, lovely wine. (7/16)

Roagna, Roagna, Roagna your boat

Roagna 2005 Dolcetto d’Alba (Piedmont) – Starts off difficult and overstructured, though of course this is a very early moment to be drinking such a wine. A lot of air and…well, the tannin doesn’t subside, but the acidity shows a little brighter, and the dark, chewy fruit lumbers into the background. This is by any measure a heavy, muscular wine, and it will require a fair number of years to peel away the layers of difficulty. (6/10)

Louis sings

[bottle]Roagna “Opera Prima XV” (Piedmont) – The first Roagna I haven’t much liked. There’s some nice aromatics – leafy and dark, with a lot of wet earth involved – but the wine seems forced, troubled, even a bit harsh. Extended aeration doesn’t seem to help, either. It tastes like the outcome of difficulty and strain, rather than a smooth transition from grape to glass. (6/08)

Pira review

[bottle]Roagna 1993 Barolo Rocca la Pira “Riserva” (Piedmont) – Lovely, leafy aromatics over nuts and grain. Softly structured and long, like a rich memory of autumn. (1/08)

La Rocca & a hard place

[bottle]Roagna 2000 Barolo La Rocca e la Pira (Piedmont) – Beautiful and deep, with dark flowers, skins, and seeds forming both the aromatics and the structure of the wine, plus dark (unsweetened) chocolate melting on the finish. Yum. (1/08)

Rionda lay

[bottle]Roagna 2003 Barolo Vigna Rionda (Piedmont) – Stunning aromatics of roses and old goat cheese rind (not ammoniated, just that beautiful melding of farmhouse and dairy). It is, however, strikingly tannic and imbalanced right now, though it’s long and full enough that I think there’s actually promise. It’ll be a long time coming, though. (1/08)


[bottle]Roagna 2000 Barbaresco Pajé (Piedmont) – Roasted nuts, flowers (mostly dandelions), and red fruit. Soft, gentle, and delicately complex, with precise but insistent acidity on the finish. Captivating, and partially so because it’s clearly not all there yet. (1/08)

Alba mater

[bottle]Roagna 2006 Dolcetto d’Alba (Piedmont) – Acidic, lightly-fruited, and lightly tannic. I must note for the record that almost everyone around me loves this. I think there’s something off about it, but it’s not (obvious) TCA, so I keep fairly quiet. Based on other vintages, certainly, this is not what the wine’s supposed to taste like, so I’d suggest dismissing this note for now. (1/08)

Solea flare

[bottle]Roagna 2001 Langhe “Solea” (Piedmont) – A blend of chardonnay and nebbiolo. Yes, that’s right. And it’s a white wine, too. Exotic red fruit aromatics (plus strawberry and red cherry) and fat peach encased in a cylinder of acidity…there’s chardonnay at the exterior of this wine, but the core is all nebbiolo. It’s structured and a heck of a lot of fun, though I wonder if it might be more enjoyable for blind-tasting games than it is a surpassing use of the raw materials. (1/08)

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