is one of the most outstanding native Italian reds
that you’re ever likely to come across.

It’s native to Piemonte. Well to be more precise, the hills around the townlands of Castagnole Monferrato &
. Yes, there are a couple of other local outposts but let’s just say these two are the principal players.

Little is known of Ruchè’s ancient history, relying as it does on much anecdotal word-of-mouth. However, in
recent years, there’s been no shortage of converts putting ink on paper to wax lyrical about it and hey, we happily include ourselves in that cohort. Have no fear folks, the reasons as to “why” will soon become apparent.

This particular Ruchè varietal from the MONTALBERA winery is slightly quirky in that it has been produced from fruit that has been both additionally ripened in the vineyard and then partially air-dried in the cellar. Are you ready for this ?

‘ Laccento ‘
Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato
DOCG 2014


Medium intensity ruby with light garnet reflection already catching the eye close to the rim. Interesting for a red, still in its relative youth.

Aromatic, it’s intensely floral with a perfumed abundance of scented roses. Curiously we love roses.
In terms of fruit composition, you’ll encounter red berries, of which cranberry is a highlight for us. And there’s a hint of spice too. To be honest, as bouquets go, while it’s not overly complex, there are positive signs that its primary, more youthful aromas are on an interesting developmental path.

On the palate it’s dry, medium body, medium acidity and velvety tannins deliver beautiful elegance and balance. Yet this wine goes beyond being simply ‘well structured’. This Quality Ruchè is a seriously, seriously, interesting wine. While being both soft and immediately approachable, Laccento 2014 is not shy on displaying both minerality and surprising depth, including a fascinating oxidative note that strikes a satisfying major chord with us. Whether this latter joy is down to the air-drying of the grapes or not is neither here nor there since, either way, it plays majestically with this Ruchè’s white-peppered, rose & cranberry combo. In our book Laccento ’14 is classed as a rare beaut :)

Clearly Ruchè is more than just another native Italian variety. It’s a curious, enigmatic and aromatic red. Yes, we repeat, aromatic red.

Indeed, unlike many of it’s neighbours in Piemonte, as yet there’s no definitive indicator to suggest this red will benefit greatly from lengthy cellaring. And you know what, for Ruchè, based on this tasting, we don’t believe it matters.

With their Laccento 2014, Montalbera have put the ‘accent’ very much on this unique varietals youthful, floral ID. We’d very happily subscribe for that.

You know, we got to thinking that if Elvis Costello were to taste it, we’re pretty sure he’d agree too that Vintage ’14 was a very good year for the Roses :)

By the way, we heard on the grapevine that Elvis hasn’t been feelin’ too good this past week.

There’s every chance that a sip of Laccento 2014 could aid his speedy recovery. We say this by way of a thinly veiled suggestion for the social media crew in MONTALBERA. Elvis is scheduled to play Teatro Colosseo Turin on this coming Monday 23rd May…not too far from the hills of Castagnole Monferrato :)

Get well soon Elvis!


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