What: Monastero Suore Cistercensi, “Coenobium Rusticum” (45 percent Trebbiano, 35 percent Malvasia, 20 percent Verdicchio)
Where: Vitorchiano, Italy (30 miles north of Rome)
Who: Sisters of the Cistercian, under the guidance of Giampiero Bea, son and protégé of Paolo Bea (famed Montefalco winemaker who revived the noninterventionist, naturalist, wine movement in Italy)
How: Grapes are macerated (soaked) on the skins and then left to ferment for approximately two weeks, imparting the luscious deep golden hue, tannins and multidimensional flavor profile.
Why: Heavy notes of candied cherries and citrus rind layer with musky maple, acetone, apricot, young strawberry, licorice, and savory herbs. Both floral and mineral driven, light tannins and piquing acid create an amicable partner for most cuisine, but a host of delicate, evasive nuances result in a nice, contemplative drink on its own.
Extended maceration yields an oxygen-resistant wine with a long life expectancy once corked, lasting weeks if kept cool and opening up beautifully.