We The Italians | Italian wine: Circeo

Italian wine: Circeo

Italian wine: Circeo

  • WTI Magazine #19 Feb 27, 2014
  • 1125

WTI Magazine #19    2014 Feb, 28
Author : Vino OK      Translation by:


The area is situated in the southern Lazio, in the province of Latina, and extends along the northern and southern coast of the promontory of Circeo, in the Pontine plain. This is a recent wine growing area, given the presence of numerous and dangerous swamps until the Fascist period, then reclaimed. 

The main grape varieties are Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vines are at ease in the sands, as evidenced by the area of Bordeaux on the left bank of the Garonne. Under these conditions they provide deep wines, with primary aromas, full-bodied colors.

Sangiovese is one of the oldest Italian varieties, as evidenced by its name that also means blood of Jupiter, already known to the Etruscans. It is by far the most popular red grape in Italy, especially in Tuscany, Umbria, Emilia Romagna. There are many types of Sangiovese, but all of them are divided into two categories: Sangiovese Grosso, the most valuable and with limited grown, almost entirely in the area of Montalcino; and Sangiovese Piccolo, the most common. Sangiovese provides fine wines, as in the case of Montalcino.

The designation of origin Circeo is a recent institution. The Ministerial Decree of 2010 authorizes the production of red wines in the municipalities of Latina, Sabaudia, San Felice Circeo and Terracina, all in Latina province. The red varieties used are the Merlot, which must be not less than 55% in the assembly, with Sangiovese up to 30% and Cabernet Sauvignon up to 30%. Other red grape varieties can be suitable for cultivation in the Lazio region up to a maximum of 15%. The maximum yield of grapes authorized for the production of controlled origin denomination Circeo is 12 tons per hectare.

The Circeo Rosso can write on the label the words "Reserve", with a total alcoholic strength of at least 12.50% when subjected to a mandatory aging period of at least two years, including at least six months in oak barrels, with effect from November 1 of the year the grapes were grown.

It is allowed to produce the types Circeo Rosso, Circeo Rosso Novello, Circeo Rosso Frizzante, Circeo Circeo Merlot and Sangiovese with a single grape variety, that must be present for at least 85%.

The Circeo Rosso has more or less intense ruby color, with robust and characteristic odor; the taste is dry, full-bodied and harmonious. On the table it can be served with roast lamb, roast rabbit, sausages and Bucatini all'Amatriciana. The Circeo Rosso Frizzante is sparkling and evanescent. The color is always more or less intense ruby, with powerful aroma and dry, fresh and lively flavor. Circeo Rosso Novello is more or less intense ruby with purple hues. The aroma is fruity, persistent and its characteristic flavor is fresh, well balanced, round and lively. It must be served with lamb, meats and pasta with meat sauce. It can also be produced under the name Amabile, to match with shellfish, eel risotto and goat cheese. For the Circeo Sangiovese pairings are with ossobuco, fettuccine with meat sauce, the semi-hard cheeses and salami.