The best Ruchè wines in 6 labels under 20 Euros

Feb 14 2024, 15:58
Ruchè is a semi-aromatic grape cultivated exclusively in Piedmont, particularly in the area of Castagnole Monferrato, in the province of Asti. Here is a selection of excellent labels with the best quality-price ratio

In the vast world of grape varieties that thrive in our country's vineyards, some distinctions can be made, particularly regarding the aromatic characteristics of the grapes. As known, some grapes are genetically rich in aromatic molecules even before they develop during fermentation. These are the so-called aromatic grapes, rich in terpenes, substances present in the skin that give rise to characteristic aromas, allowing us to immediately identify the raw material from which the wine we are tasting originates.

There are also grapes called semi-aromatic, where the presence of terpenes on the skin is less, but the olfactory identity is still evident and attributable to the substances present in the pulp of the berries. One of these is Ruchè.

Ruchè is exclusively cultivated in Piedmont. Its preferred area is the countryside around Castagnole Monferrato, in the province of Asti, and sporadically in Alessandria. Its origins are undoubtedly ancient; the name seems to derive from "roncet," a viral disease to which this grape responds more effectively than other Piedmontese varieties, such as Barbera or Grignolino. Some scholars believe it may come from Burgundy and entered Piedmont around the 18th century, but evidence of this journey is quite scarce.

The disciplinary of the Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato DOC (now DOCG), created in 1987, provided an extra stimulus for producers to focus on this grape: the resulting wine is entirely distinctive and recognizable thanks to a unique floral and spicy fragrance.

Best quality-price ratio Ruchè wines

If you want to delve into the knowledge of the grape, below is a small but significant list from the Gambero Rosso's Berebene 2024 guide: all are Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato that have scored 90 points or above and cost less than 20 euros.

Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato 'Na Vota 2022 by Cantine Sant'Agata showcases aromas of aromatic herbs and black currants on the nose, while the palate is pleasantly dense with well-integrated tannins and great drinkability. The Cavallero family's company, with over a century of history, has long been a reference for wines produced from Ruchè grapes, offering various versions.

Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato Clàsic 2022 by Ferraris Agricola presents scents of rose, tobacco, and red fruit, with an austere and well-dense palate. Established in the 1920s in Castagnole Monferrato, the company restructured in 2001, becoming one of the first to focus on Ruchè. Over the years, they expanded to multiple estates, reaching 34 hectares of vineyards.

Ruchè Invictus by Tenuta di Montemagno returns with a 2021 version featuring an exuberant aromatic profile: floral aromas and cherry notes precede a juicy and rich palate with an exceptionally long finish. Tenuta Montemagno is now one of the most fascinating realities in the region, offering a complete experience with a relais, restaurant, and winery.

Two Ruchè di Montalbera recommendations are: Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato Laccento 2022, with aromas of rose and wild red berries on the nose and a full and balanced palate, and Ruchè di Castagnole Laccento 2022, which follows with austere notes of rose, red fruit, and orange zest.

The name of the Morando family, owners of Agricola Montalbera, is closely tied to that of Ruchè. The particular semi-aromatic red grape is undoubtedly the most important wine for the company, which, moreover, owns over half of the entire denomination. There are several interpretations of this relationship, all clear and intriguing. However, it is not the only grape variety in the cellar: in the area, they also cultivate Grignolino, Viognier, and Barbera, while in other estates, such as Castiglione Tinella, the produced varieties include Moscato, Barbera, and Chardonnay.

Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato Prevost 2022 by Fabrizia Caldera is a flagship for the variety and a well-deserved first Three Glasses for the winery. It offers a fine and complex nose with scents of rose, licorice, and red fruits, and a full-bodied, harmonious palate with a dense yet balanced and progressive tannic structure. Founded in the early 20th century, the Caldera family's winery is now in its fourth generation, led by Fabrizia, assisted by her husband Roberto and son Fabio. The range of cultivated grape varieties has increased over the years, deepening the connection with the territory, from the rediscovery of Ruchè to Barbera, Dolcetto, Grignolino, and among white grapes, Chardonnay, Cortese, Viognier, and Moscato.

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