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Frank Cornelissen Magma 2017

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Etna, Sicily, Italy
Nerello Mascalese
Certified Organic, but no treatments are used
Fermented with native yeasts, light filtration, unfined, minimal additional sulphites

An extremely special bottle that we're very lucky to have available through the shop. You can read a bit more about Frank and his wines over the other listings on the site; if you've come this far you've probably got a good idea what this wine is all about.

Magma is one of those mythical wines with a hand-painted bottle (usually empty) that you occasionally spot lined up in trophy rows in choice Sicilian osterie, and indeed restaurants and wine shops all over the world. The simple fact is that there just aren't many bottles to go around. This is the very top wine from the Cornelissen estate, produced annually in quantities of 500-1500 bottles - in some vintages, if the phenolic ripeness of the grapes is not deemed perfect, it isn't made at all.  Of all the contrada, Magma comes from the highest of the vineyards at over 900 metres above sea level, from ungrafted Nerello Mascalese vines that are over 100 years old. This altitude, with its Northeastern exposure that bathes the vines in morning sun and then shades when the sun is at its highest point, coupled with the profound physiological ripeness of the low-yielding fruit, results in a wine with a profound sense of place and that brims with all the energy and tension that these mineral-rich volcanic soils can provide. 

The expression is quite different to anything else we have tried from Frank - whereas some of his other contrada wines can be dark, brooding - a challenge for many palates - Magma is almost Burgundian in its finesse and elegance. The fruit is incredibly pure and rich with detail, the texture velvet-like, but above all the wine exudes that sublime energy that lets you know that this wine has come from a very special place. Needless to say, we don't have a lot of it.