Sunday, August 1, 2010

Coenobium Rusticum 2007

This is a totally weird and wacky orange wine. Paolo Bea and some nuns from Lazio teamed up to make these wines. Anyways, I've been wanting to try something orange for a while. Basically, up until last night, orange was the only style of wine that I've never had. I've had whites, roses, reds, fortified wines, sherries, sparkling wines made Champagne style and in the tank, passito wines, corked wines, cooked wines, natural wines, and a whole bunch of other fermented beverages made from grape juice, but never an orange wine. For those unfamiliar with orange wines, they're made differently than other white wines. Basically, the wine is made like a red wine and is fermented with the skins, which causes three things to happen: 1. The wine is partially oxidized, 2.Atypically for white wine, there are tannins, and 3. Instead of being white, the wine is orange. Anyways, there are better posts than mine to read about the back ground of this wine here and here. I'm not the first person to have tried this wine and been impressed. 55% Trebbiano, 15% Verdicchio, 20% Malvasia and 10% Grechetto. Imported by Neal Rosenthal. $27 from K&L.K&L still has 11 bottles in stock as of right now in Hollywood; if you like interesting stuff, definitely go get a bottle before they're out. This wine is rad. The nose is honeyed, with marmalade, limes, apricots, almonds, and a hint of spice. There's a lot going on in the mouth too, but mainly what I notice are honeyed citrus notes, and the small bit of tannin at the end. Fantastic balance between all the elements, and superbly poised. This is definitely weird, but definitely cool, and most importantly, delicious. I even feel slightly guilty, what with being a total heathen and drinking nun wine...of course, that never stopped me from drinking Trappist beers before, or this. A

6 comments:

jason said...

You just cost me more money Jeff. I really need to stop reading your blog...

Jeff said...

Funny...you normally save me money trying all the cheapies at TJ's...I'm hardly the first person to recommend this wine though. Definitely worth checking out for the weird factor alone. Just thinking about it now, it actually reminds me a lot of beer.

Joshiemac said...

Same here! The minute I read this post I went online and ordered a bottle. Seemed too interesting to pass up!

Nice thing about K&L, they have free intrastore shipping.

Jeff said...

Yeah, I don't want to be a total fan boy, but the free intra-store shipping is really cool...Let me know what you think after you drink it. My girlfriend wasn't really a fan. She's got good taste, but it reminded her too much of beer--almost Hefeiweizen like in a way. Also, the oxidative character makes it fairly nutty, so it's kind of like sherry too. It's definitely a weird wine. You really have to try it to understand it. It's one huge paradox. Alcoholic beverage, but from a religious order. White wine, but made like red.

Joshiemac said...

Finally got around to trying my bottle. Really enjoyed. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I got some malty elements on the nose, plus the citrus and nutty notes you spoke of on the palate. My bottle had some oxidation going on but not too much. Just a complex and interesting bottle of wine with a lot of character. Very different-it was my first bottle of orange wine and my first bottle of something that Paolo Bea had his hand in--at least I think he assisted in this.

There was so much going on here but as you said it was all really balanced. I paired it with grilled chicken satay and a homemade peanut sauce. A near perfect pairing as the nutty and citrus elements in the wine were echoed in the peanut & lime in the sauce.

Only wish I didn't drink the whole bottle myself last night.

Jeff said...

Awesome dude. Glad that you enjoyed it. It's a different experience, huh?