98LM 2016 Montalbera Fuori Catalogo Ruché Red Blend

If you want to know the secret to a long, happy life in NW Italy, it would likely involve lots of pasta, cheese, ragu, and possibly, this wine. This phenomenal 98pt selection produced from an indigenous grape blended with the famed Barbera will shake up your wine world. Winemaker Franco Morando’s expression of estate-grown Ruche grapes showcases the fruit’s tantalizing qualities in a thrilling, sumptuous package of darted acidity and come-hither smoothness. Intense aromas of wild berries and jam segue to a medium-bodied waltz of  blackberry, and black pepper, leading to a velvety finish. If you are an Italian wine lover, or just an arm-chair traveling oenophile, this is a must-have wine.

 

About the wine

Ruche is an obscure little Piedmontese grape that’s esoteric enough to allow oenophiles in the know show off to their friends. Those looking to impress will find this relatively unknown varietal is packed with qualities that makes it seem like it’s the love child of Syrah and Pinot.  It's star is on the rise, however, and Montalbera’s winemaking impresario Franco Morando’s immense skill with the grape launches its profile into the stratosphere. His meticulous sourcing and cultivation of estate-grown Ruche draws every square millimeter of nuance from the black fruit. This translates into a sensually balanced expression of brazen acidity and silky smoothness wholly deserving of the high 98pt scores it’s been racking up across successive vintages. Long, concentrated aromas of jam and wild berries declare a powerful, exciting statement as they waft from its intense ruby hue. A medium-bodied presence seductively unwraps to reveal a complex melange of blackberry, pepper, and sour cherry on the palate. Blended with Barbera, the journey concludes with a sinfully smooth finish marked by velvety tannins. 

 

Reviews

 

A blend of 70% Barbera d’Asti, 30% Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato, Luca Maroni has rated this wine 98pts several vintages in a row in his annual book, I Migliori Vini Italiani.

 

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