My friend Elizabeth recently turned me on to Richard Hawley. As I listened to his ‘Coles Corner’ album my mind kept drifting to Edward Hopper paintings. I’m generally not emotionally moved by paintings as others are, but Hopper’s work always resonates with me. My impression is of a quiet sadness and isolation all captured in a single moment in time. I realized I get the same feeling listening to ‘Coles Corner‘ . I started to wonder if I could think of a wine that could stir the same emotions, or at least accompany them. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m all for closing my eyes and letting my sub-conscious do the heavy lifting, so I put on a track from the album, closed my eyes and let my mind wander through a virtual wine shop. The wine that rose to the surface of my consciousness is the Luca Ferraris Ruche’ ‘Il Firmato’. Ruche is an indigenous Italian varietal found in Piedmonte where the very limited production of Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato has achieved DOCG status.
The wine is medium bodied and multi-layered. Upon approach the first thing you notice is the aroma of dusty rose. On the palate, while the wine is medium bodied, there is considerable concentration of flavors – initially strawberry, with a green pepper spiciness, and then chocolate toward the end – at least this is my impression. The roses conjure up melancholy for me and the unusual combination of flavors challenge the mind and come across as enigmatic, difficult to comprehend, and thus somewhat solitary. As such, I can definitely see it as a beautiful, yet lonely wine – just like Hopper’s paintings and Richard Hawley’s music.
Of course context is everything. Considering the aromas and flavors of roses, strawberry and chocolate, one could make an argument for Ruche’ as a perfect Valentine’s Day wine. Please stop by the Burgundy Wine Company on Thursday February 13 for a taste of this unusual wine and decide for yourself!
Luca Ferraris Ruche’ ‘Il Firmato’
Producer: Luca Ferraris
Sugg. Retail: $26