Enrico Riccardo Morando’s family estate in Castagnole Monferrato, Montalbera, is famous for its production of the relatively unknown but indigenous variety, Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato, known as the 'Red Prince of Monferrato'.

Found in seven neighbouring villages within the Asti province in Piemonte, Ruché refers to both the DOCG, which was granted in 2010, and the variety. The origin of this grape is unknown but it is thought that it was introduced by the Haut Savoie. Its extraordinarily attractive red fruit bouquet with floral hints and elegance secured its place on the Astrum list at the first sip. We are delighted to have these incredible and unique wines from Montalbera, and also to stock our first ever Ruché.

The winery is found at the highest point of the DOCG at 270m above sea level and is completely surrounded by the estates vineyards, meaning the vineyards have a range of different exposures and soil types. The vineyards cover six entire hills, which dip down into a valley cultivated with the traditional Piedmontese hazelnut. The vines vary in age from 7 to 30 years, and are trained in low Guyot trellises. All agricultural work is done by hand. With a total of 175 hectares, 82 hectares are planted with Ruchè, which comprises 60% of the entire production of this appellation. Other planted varieties are Barbera d’Asti, Grignolino, and Viognier.

Montalbera’s philosophy is to let the fruit speak for itself and to share Morando’s passion for the delights of Ruché with every drinker.

All wines by this producer (2)


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"This is such a distinctive, perfumed, floral red wine. It’s from Piedmont, and made from a very rare red grape variety called Ruché (...) It’s just my sort of style, showing elegance and aromatic interest, but with some edges too." Jamie Goode, Wine Anorak (December 2013)

(Ruchè La Tradizione 2016) "A deceptively sexy introduction to this grape. Though it is not deeply coloured, the palate is deceptively rich, almost like a ripe Grenache but with an engaging flavour profile of spice wrapped around a core of marinated cherries and more lift.  " 94 points, Luca Maroni 

(Ruchè La Tradizione 2015) "Varietal notes of roses and red fruit: fascinating spicy note of pepper: a substantial, rich palate and a long finish, full of character."  Tre Bichieri prize, Guida Vini d’Italia 2016, Gambero Rosso