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99pt Montalbera Laccento Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato 2016

£24.99 £16.99
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"A masterpiece: magical and rare." - 99 points, Luca Maroni.

If you've never tasted a wine from Piedmont's rare Ruchè grape, then this is an unmissable opportunity.

The Laccento Ruchè Di Castagnole Monferrato from Montalbera is a superb discovery - full, deep and super-ripe.

And the 2016 is perhaps the best vintage yet, awarded the very highest 'Tre Bicchieri' award by Italy's greatest wine guide, Gambero Rosso.

One of our best selling red wines, with great reviews and 4.2 out of 5 stars from Vivino users, this is just brilliant value at the very low price of £16.99 - a 32% discount ! 

The origin of the Ruchè grape is a mystery. It's only grown near Asti, in the Piedmont region of Italy. The town of Castagnole di Monferrato is the heart of the Ruchè area, and there are just 75 hectares of vines.

This has been rated Top Italian Wine by critic Luca Maroni - despite the fact that it's only made in tiny volumes...

About the wine

Ruchè is a fascinating wine - once described as 'The lovechild of Burgundy and Barolo'. The grapes are harvested a few weeks later than usual, when they are intensely ripe. Thereafter, the best grapes are only selected and follows a maceration from 12 to 14 days. The Laccento Ruchè matures six months in the bottle.

The wine is ruby ​​red with light purple hues. The bouquet is fruity and floral with hints of roses, violets and a potpourri of ripe cherries, apricots and blueberries. Additionally you can also smell a little sage, white pepper and bay leaf. In taste this Italian wine is full and soft, with an elegant structure. A little spicy, with a hint of sweetness, low acidity and soft tannins. The longer you keep this wine, the spicier and more complex it becomes. There is no other wine like this, a Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato is immediately recognisable and deliciously drinkable! 

Winemaker: Enrico Riccardo Morando 
Appellation: Ruchè Di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG

- 99pts, Luca Maroni
- 3/3 Glasses, Gambero Rosso
- Gold Outstanding, IWSC 2017
(2015 vintage)
- 3.9/5 Stars, Vivino Rating

Grapes: 100% Ruche
Vineyards: Castagnole di Monferrato
Cooperage: 6-8 months in bottle
ABV: 14%
Drink: 2017-2021

About the winery

Montalbera is the best producer of Ruchè. They are responsible for more than half of the Ruchè di Castagnole di Monferrato production. The winery is owned by the Morando family. Winemaking began for them as a hobby, because the core business of the family is animal feed. Soon, however, their wines proved hugely successful. The ripening of the grapes is carefully monitored and the harvest is rigidly controlled with each grape selected by hand. 

About the vineyard

Nobody knows exactly how the Ruchè grape entered Piedmont. That remains a mystery. There are several theories about the origin of the grape. Some say that the grape originated in the Piedmont, that they can recognize specific flavour characteristics of other Piedmontese grape varieties. It is also possible that monks of the monastery of San Rocca in the Monferrato Ruchè brought the grape from Burgundy. But the most likely version is that the grape comes from  the French Haute-Savoie and has found its ideal home in Monferrato, where the soil and climate characteristics fit perfectly and the highest quality is achieved.

In 1987 Ruchè Castagnole di Monferrato DOC certification was given, and in 2010 it also received DOCG status - Italy's highest. The DOCG Ruchè is bound by strict rules. Thus, the wine must contain at least 95% Ruchè. Often, a small percentage of Barbera or Brachetto is added. The superbly sited vineyards, coupled with the strictest quality standards, guarantee that what ends up in the bottle will be something quite exceptional!   

About the winemaker

As the best winemaker in a traditional appellation, Enrico Riccardo Morando has the modern, scientific understanding of winemaking that his forebears lacked, while still respecting the traditions that they developed. His Ruche is quite sensational - deep, fragrant, multi-layered and complex. 



99 Points - Luca Maroni
…and then: Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato LACCENTO: a wine of sublime originality. The sheer quantity of flower and fruit in the bouquet derives from one of the finest and most intense grapes, majestically luxuriant and luscious, that is being harvested today...Chapeau! This is a wine that once encountered can never be forgotten..."


3/3 Bicchieri- Gambero Rosso 


Gold Outstanding - International Wine & Spirits Competition (2015 vintage)
It takes exceptionally ripe grapes, not to mention great winemaking talent, to achieve such a level of perfection in this little known, rare Piedmontese gem. It's warm, scented and seductive to the nose, with sweet nuances of raspberry coulis, and a dash of cloves, wonderfully harmonious, intense and genteel. Light carmine red and flawless on palate, soft and silky, richly fruity and almost mellow pure flavours, yet delicate and very refined. It's love at first sip."

"This was my first Ruché and I really enjoyed it. A strong nose of rose bushes and blackberry jam. Intense blackberry and cherry fruit on the palate. Very smooth mouthfeel with a touch of vanilla. Accompanied our spaghetti bolognese very well which brought out the spice in the finish of the wine. Definitely one to try again..."  4.5 /5 Stars

As always great to find new wines. No wood at all, this wine delivers tons of mature fruits, soft and smooth and light bodied. Just fruity expression with a mineral touch at the end. Great one!"  4/5 Stars

"Really interesting wine, unlike anything I've had before. Very alcoholic and fragrant nose. Sechun pepper, pine, rose and raspberry- developing. Light bodied, pink peppers continue. Light red fruit, red currant predominantly. Subtle tannins despite the light body. Grew on me, definitely memorable"  4/5 Stars

"Unforgettable, lovely bouquet of roses & violets. Then a basketful of red, black & blue berries bathe one's tongue around its softly textured yet wonderfully sculpted body. Dense yet elegant and undeniably feminine with soft round tannins." 4.5/5 Stars



Other Details

Stunning 'Best Italian Red!' 99 points & the highest 'Three Glasses' score from Gambero Rosso
99pt Laccento - Stunning 'Best Italian Red'!
"a wine that once encountered can never be forgotten..." Luca Maroni
"a wine that once encountered can never be forgotten..." Luca Maroni
The Laccento Ruchè Di Castagnole Monferrato from Montalbera is a superb discovery - full, deep and super-ripe. And the 2016 is perhaps the best vintage yet, awarded the very highest 'Tre Bicchieri' award by Italy's greatest guide, Gambero Rosso. One
2018-08-05 23:59:59
#review=Luca Maroni:
#stars_review=Gambero Rosso 'Tre Bicchieri':
#stars_review=Vivino Rating:
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