Discovering Castagnole Monferrato Ruchè docg, the Montalbera winery winning card


Italian version  


Cristina Fracchia                                                      

I have a clear memory of my first glass of Ruchè: a night at a wine bar in the Asti area (Piedmont region) with a man I was interested in, he ordering also for me a glass of the red wine. At that time I didn't record its perfumes, but I remember very well how I'd been surprised about its shent. And I felt the same surprise some weeks ago, during the event organized at Montalbera winery in Castagnole Monferrato to present their 2011 vintage.


Ruchè is also the name of the autochthonous grape from Asti region, its d.o.c.g. wine is created in the village of Castagnole Monferrato, Grana, Refrancore, Portacomaro, Montemagno and Viarigi. There are 120 hectares, half of wich belong to Montalbera winery, wich produces 55% of Ruchè wine in the entire world. Their property is about 135 hectares, more than 115 of wich are located in Castagnole Monferrato, 15 in Castiglione Tinella (Asti Moscato land) and 2 between Castiglione Falletto and La Morra, in the Langa region (Barolo land), but currently they produce only 300.000 bottles a year, made by a meticulous selection. Franco Morando is the talented and dynamic owner, who is leading the family winery since almost 10 years. He dedicated himself to the innovation in making wines and Castagnole Monferrato Ruchè docg Laccento is the result of this great research. This no-oak-aged wine has been made differently since 2010. In fact vintage 2008 and 2009 are still aggressive and tannic, comparing to 2010 and 2011. These two vintages are different because 5% of the grapes have been late harvested. 2011 offers fields flowers and rose with little red fruits on the nose, but 2010 is definitely the best: elegant, balanced, rounded; it presents dried flowers, wild strawberry and a mild spice. I tried it at lunch and dinner and I had the confirmation of that kind, caressing, reassuring sensation, like the ideal man, who has to be loving, gentle, elegant, reassuring not only in words.

Another wine from this dynamic winery is Barolo docg Levoluzione 2008, wich has been presented to the press and bloggers. I’m a traditionalist (maybe because I live in Barolo area) and this wine is too far from how I think about Barolo. The marketing manager explained that recently people are moving towards less tannic and less alcoholic wines, more fruity and light bodied. Barolo Levoluzione is walking this way, also because it aspires to be appreciated in the new markets outside of Italy.

Personally I think Montalbera winery has in Ruchè its best chance of being discovered and spread the word about this almost unknown vine, wich deserves more attention.





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