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2018 Coenobium

2018 Coenobium

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You've had trappist beer, now have some trappist wines! Coenobium is an incredibly well regarded skin-fermented white made by the nuns of de Monastero Suore Cisternersi in Lazio, just north of Rome. The wine is made with the help of the legendary Giampiero Bea of Antica Azienda Agricola Paolo Bea. Basically Bea was introduced to the Nuns through a mutual friend who had been making wine since the 1960's but had struggled to find a market for it. Being a good Catholic, Bea felt compelled to help them.

The wine has been made since 2010 and has become something of a cult classic with the vast majority of the wine being exported to the USA (we've been asking for it for about two years now), offering wine made by one of Umbria's absolute best at a fraction of the price of his domaine wines. It is a blend of Trebbiano (45%), Malvasia (35%) and Verdicchio (20%). It is the perfect entry level skin-fermented wine that manages to retain its seriousness, sense of place and personality. It has notes of pear, spice and eucalyptus. 

From the monastery: 

"Fate can have lovely consequences. Our fortuitous encounter with the Bea family of Umbria of course led to the unearthing of one of the great domaines of Italy. But, we have been additionally blessed as we marched together with Giampiero Bea as he made the acquaintance of the Sisters of the Cistercian order living and working at their monastery in Vitorchiano, ninety minutes or so north of Rome in the Lazio district. Here at this quiet religious outpost eighty women of this religious order work vineyards and orchards and gardens organically. Under the guidance of Bea, they produce two wines as honest and sympathetic and gracious as they are."