1996 Barbaresco Crichët Pajé - slow o? decant? PnP?

Any advice for how to handle this wine? I will often give younger Nebbiolo several hours of slow O before serving, but given the vintage, a decant might lead it to show better.


I don’t think slow O will do anything for this. That’s intended for very old, somewhat delicate wines. A 96 Barbaresco shouldn’t be delicate! I’d give it a healthy decant.

I would decant for 2-3 weeks.

Then decant it is, perhaps not for as long as Ken recommends. This was part of a mixed case of Crichet Paje (well, 11 bottles) I picked up at auction including the 78 and the 85. Perhaps I’ll try one of those first.

I would slow-o the 78 and 85.

Hey Steve,

I’d agree with Ken. I think that wine will be hard as nails and likely a masochistic exercise with a narrow view to potential. I bet the 85 and 78 will be much more enjoyable.


I suspect so, as well. My 96s call out to me, and usually I resist the siren song. Revealing of just how “classic” the vintage is that at almost 20 years of age it’s still considered way too young to dig into. I go back and forth about whether it’s worth while trying one to see how the wines are coming along, but this may not be the best test case. The Crichet is about as rare as hen’s teeth, especially the 78s and 85s, and I have more of the 96. But does the wine care? Nawww. Not much. Okay. Back to the cellar.