Place: Roman Castles, Italy
Variety: Nero Beuno, Malvasia, Trebbiano
ICARO Vino is a small but immensely exciting project by friends Rocco, Luca, Gianmarco and Fabio. Their mission statement is to revitalise and reintroduce the world to the wines of Romani Castelli (Roman Castles). The region was once where the nobility of Rome would holiday and where a great deal of wine was once produced and enjoyed by the Roman population. The wines were a favourite of the poet Horace (65-8BC) and he even stated that they were so extraordinary that they loosened the statesman Cato’s (234-149BC) rigid and otherwise unwavering moral feelings.
The site itself is one of sheer beauty, a single vineyard near Velletri, surrounded by a 250ha natural monument of wild forest, huge oaks, maples and cyclamen. The soil is volcanic, composed of clay and a small percentage of sand (pozzolana), in an area particularly rich in tuff. In the vineyard, homeopathic treatments such as propolis and molasses are used to attract insects that carry yeasts. Farming is organic and everything from grape to bottle is done by hand. The little-known indigenous grape ‘Nero Buono’ is the hero here.
60% Nero Buono from Guyot-trained vines on volcanic soil, 40% Malvasia and Trebbiano, from Pergola-trained vines. The white and red grapes are fermented separately in fiberglass and then blended before bottling for a wine of great freshness and surprising acidity with a crunchy tannin structure that lengthens and complete the drink. There is everything you need: red fruit and minerality, body, acidity and balsamic hints. Beuno!