Tasting Note                          

87    2004 ‘Na Vota (Sant’Agata) Ruche di Castagnole Monferrato               4/1/07 ($15)

Color: Medium brick red with a touch of purple. (3.0) Bouquet: Mineral and sulfur with good acidity, bright cherry fruit and a touch herbal. (2.5) Body: Excellent acidity and a little tannin supporting sufficient fruit. Middleweight. (2.5) Flavor: Minerals and an herbal spice component that is very interesting. Excellent acidity propels nuances. (3.0) Finish: Parallels flavor with herbal and mineral nuances lingering, but slightly restrained. (2.5)
Overall: Only from Italy will you find a wine with this much nuance and terroir-driven personality on a modest frame for such a modest price. This is about minerals, herbs and spice, not size or fruit. The fruit is there, but could be a little richer. A good value. Only my second sampling of this varietal (Ruche) from the Piedmont. I had a 2005 by Crivelli about 6 months ago that was spicy, but grapy (young). I definitely prefer this 2004 by Sant’Agata. (13.5)