If someone offers you a glass of Ruchè it is probably because they like you!
Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato wines have classically been enjoyed during large family gatherings and in times of celebration. It is undoubtedly one of the most wonderful indigenous wines that showcases the excellence of the Monferrato area – Asti province.
In 2010, 95% of all Ruchè wine produced was domestically purchased and consumed. Now, about half of the wine is exported to the United States, Japan, Switzerland, Denmark, and other countries all over the world.
Brief History of Ruchè
Ruchè, pronounced Roo-Kay, with the stress on the Kay, is a red grape variety from the Piedmont region of Italy. The origins of the variety are well known and for many years the vines of Ruchè grew among the more productive Barbera vines. Ruchè gained Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) status in 1987 and in 2000 only 30 hectares (75 acres) were in production. The variety graduated to Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) status in 2010. As of 2015, the Ruchè vine is cultivated in 160 hectares of vineyard, spread around the villages of Grana, Viarigi, Castagnole Monferrato, Refrancore, Montemagno, Scurzolengo, and Portacomaro. Ruchè is likely the smallest DOCG production variety in all of Italy.
The plantation of Ruchè vine and cultivation of its vineyards was begun by Don Giacomo Cauda (Priest of Castagnole Monferrato) back in the early ‘60s. The Tenuta Montemagno winery uses the Southwest slope of clay and limestone marl to plant and cultivate their vines. The deep interaction of the work in the vineyard, the quality of the soil, and the vinification in a cellar produces a peculiar and unique Ruchè of Tenuta Montemagno wine.
Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato Wine Characteristics
Ruchè vines produce red grapes with a mid- to early season ripening schedule. A good share of malic acid with low acidity adds freshness to the wine. The semi-aromatic grapes also have good alcohol potential. The grapes themsleves offer olfactory notes of faded roses and spices along with the reminiscent taste of raspberry, blackberry, and ripe plums, with hints of spices (such as black pepper and cinnamon); all of which adds unique characteristics to the wine produced from the grapes.
Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato vinified from Ruchè grapes is very peculiar – low to moderate acidity, lightly aromatic, and well balanced with a very unique taste. It expresses harmony and balance with softness and elegance. Its intense bouquet is characterized by prominent notes of pepper and cinnamon, eucalyptus, wild berries, and sour cherry, giving a long lingering aftertaste.
Two Labels of Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato Wine
The Tenuta Montemagno wines assortment has two labels of Ruchè:
The Nobilis variety is characterized as elegant, velvety, and persistent. It is vinified from an autochthonous grape variety which is only cultivable in a restricted area around Tenuta Montemagno. It is best served at a temperature of 18°-20°C.
The Invictus variety is one of the top selling wines of the Tenuta Montemagno cellar. Invictus is a late harvest wine. Meaning the grape bunches are left to hang on the vines to overripen before they are harvested. Over-ripening the grapes reduces the acidity, increases the sugar level, the structure, and the perfumes of the grapes. Invictus is a wine of great longevity and elegance. This wine has intense notes of roses, violets, and ripe red fruit. This dark red color wine with purple and black reflections should be served at a temperature of 18°-20°C.
A few other things you should know about Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato Wines:
- Municipalities of Castagnole Monferrato, Grana, Montemagno, Portacomaro, Refrancore, Scurzolengo and Viarigi.
- 90% to 100% Ruchè (Barbera and/or Brachetto up to a maximum of 10%)
Minimum Natural Alcohol Content (by volume of the grapes):
- Minimum 10.5%
- Maximum of 9 tons
- Minimum total alcohol content (by volume): 12%
- Minimum total acidity: 5%
- Minimum net dry extract: 20%
This full, distinctly tannic, and aromatic on the palate wine is an ideal companion for mature or fragrant blue cheeses. It is also suitable to serve with local Piedmontese dishes such as agnolotti (ravioli-type filled pasta), finanziera (an offal-based dish), and other traditional Italian main courses.
Its softness, succulence, and olfactory depth make it easy to combine with other highly aromatic and spicy foods, such as ginger. This means that it also pairs very well with oriental cuisine and piquant dishes. Its versatility makes it a truly cosmopolitan wine.
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Have you tried these wines? Which was your favorite and why? What did you pair it with? Let us know in the comments!