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Wine Geek Recommended
Coenobiumrusticum10
Color:
White
Body/Type:
Full Bodied
Style:
Traditional
Size:
Bottle, 750 ml
Winery:
Monastero Suore Cistercensi
Grapes:
Trebbiano and Malvasia
Serve At:
54°-61° F
Region:
Italy > Lazio

This is a fascinating wine made by Cistertian nuns in the Lazio hills, 30 miles north of Rome. More orange than gold, due to an extended 15 days of skin contact. It boasts aromas reminiscent of a beautiful orchard on a warm fall day with a robust and almost musky palate.
Only 3,000 bottles produced - each bottle is individually numbered.

Autonomous, self-contained communities of Cistercians have a long history of producing wine, beer, and other spirits.
Which is why a small group of nuns in Italy have an organic vineyard that they carefully tend by hand, planted with Trebbiano, Verdicchio, Malvasia and Grechetto. These sisters managed to enlist the help of Giampiero Bea, the son of famous Italian winemaker Paolo Bea, to make their wine starting in 2005.
Bea and his father, Paolo, are well known proponents of the Italian school of non-interventionalist winemaking. That means that their wines are made without any commercial yeasts or additives of any kind, sees no fining or filtration before bottling, and only the smallest amount of sulfur added prior to bottling.

Lazio is located in central Italy, bordering Tuscany to the north, Campania to the south, Abruzzo to the east and Umbria to the northeast. The volcanic hills provide an excellent base for viticulture thanks to the fertile and porous (well-drained) land. Nourishment for the grapes is provided by lava and tufa soils, rich in potassium. This type of soil is particularly suited to white grapes as it ensures a good balance of acidity. The proximity of the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west is also important; cool sea breezes temper the drier, warmer temperatures on the coast, while the mountainous area is subject to various macroclimates despite being protected by the Apennines from the cold winds coming from the northeast.

The region's reputation is mainly based on its white wines, the mainstays being Trebbiano and Malvasia di Candia. Traditionally these wines were fat, rounded and made for immediate consumption. Today the styles are lighter, drier and crisper thanks to modern vinification methods. However they are still designed for drinking young, characterized by their sharpness, high acidity and a lightness that makes them an ideal accompaniment to the local cuisine – they cut through the heaviness of these dishes, such as porchetta (pork roasted with herbs) and abbacchio (young lamb). Although its red wines are not as high profile, they are beginning to make a name for themselves, especially those made from Sangiovese, Cesanese, Montepulciano, Merlot and Nero Buono di Coro. Also of note are Canaiolo and Ciliegiolo; in total, there are more than 200 grape varieties in the area.

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