This wine has a story like a combination of a soap opera and an episode of This American Life. Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi, the Prince of Venosa, decided in the late 40s, at the urging of the most prominent Italian enologist of his day, Dr. Tancredi Biondi Santi, to plant Bordeaux varietals on his estate on the Appian Way just outside Rome (the address, Appia Antica 400, is the namesake of this wine) long before that had become fashionable in Italy. The wines he made from organically grown grapes, at a time when chemical farming had arrived in full force, were sold under the name Fiorano, and became highly sought after, even mythical, all over the world, and were the inspiration for the Super Tuscans that came later. The increasingly reclusive and eccentric prince, however, ripped up almost all of his vines when he retired due to ill health in 1995. When three of his grand daughters eventually took control of part of the estate in 2005 they decided to replant the vineyards with cuttings from the estate’s few remaining Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Semillon vines and once again produce wines. A cousin who had inherited the rest of the estate had taken possession of the name Fiorano, so the sisters named their project Alberico after their grandfather. This wine is a blend of organically grown 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc, fermented in concrete and aged in large Slavonian oak casks for transparency, the same way the prince made his wines.