If you’re a regular customer at Vino, chances are you’ll have tried Ruchè, a little-known wine from the Piedmontese village of Castagnole Monferrato. So little-known in fact, that unless you were born in this tiny hamlet in the province of Asti, you were probably unfamiliar with the variety until Luca Ferraris brought his wines to the United States.
The cultivation of Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato is limited to Castagnole Monferrato, making it among the smallest appellations in Italy. Though once of modest output, production is now expanding due to its award of DOC status.
Luca is one of just 28 producers helping to resurrect the grape and promote the wine to an international market. With no preconceptions surrounding the wine those curious enough to give it a chance have responded with unanimous praise, making Ruchè one of Vino’s best-selling word-of-mouth wines.
But Luca isn’t just about Ruchè: his Barbera and Grignolino offer classic piemontese quality and taste and remarkable value. This year Ferraris has added a new wine to his portfolio, an exciting blend of Ruchè and Syrah which he calls Il Re. Taste all four today and save 20%!
Barbera d’Asti 2008
was $16, now $12.80
One of Piedmont’s oldest grape varieties, Barbera d’Asti is believed to have originated in the Monferrato hills. A DOC since 1970, Barbera d’Asti is generally found in calcareous, clayey land between the provinces of Alessandria and Asti. Luca Ferraris’ Barbera d’Asti comes from his Vigna del Martin, a single vineyard in Castagnole Monferrato named after the producer’s grandfather Martino.
Grignolino d’Asti 2008
was $15, now $12
Once an abundant grape variety in Piedmont, Grignolino cultivation suffered especially when a plague of vine destroying parasites swept through the region. As a result, production is limited, a problem which has served only to enhance the wines’ appeal. The grape is being resurrected by fine young producers such as Ferraris, whose Grignolino d’Asti comes from his Vigna del Casot, a single vineyard in Castagnole Monferrato. The name of the variety comes from “grignole”, which in local dialect refers to the unusually large number of grape seeds.
Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato 2008
was $22, now $17.60
Luca Ferraris’ flagship wine comes from his Bric d’Bianc vineyard, part of an entire hill between Castagnole Monferrato and Scurzolengo which Ferraris purchased himself in 2000. He divided the land into four parts, three of which are devoted to the cultivation of this local grape. The name Ruchè is derived from the Italian word “rocche” (rocks) most likely due to the vine’s successful cultivation in the rock-like ground.
Monferrato Rosso Il Re 2006
was $25, now $20
The rare Ruchè variety has developed something of a cult following since the arrival of Luca Ferraris’ flagship wine at Vino in 2008. This year we added Il Re, an exciting blend of Syrah and Ruchè from the same Bric d’Bianc vineyard Ferraris uses for his monovarietal wine.
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