Frank Cornelissen Susucaru Rosato '19 & Rosso '18 are here

16th Aug 2020

All the way from Mount Etna in Sicily - the eagerly anticipated new releases from Frank Cornelissen have arrived in the store
There is always a buzz each year around the new vintages from Frank Cornelissen, a native Belgian who chose the slopes of a very active Sicilian volcano as the perfect terroir to realise his vision of wine made with no treatments in the vineyard and zero additions in the cellar.

His land is divided up into various parcels, or contrada, which are defined by the lava flow of the volcano over the centuries, each providing its own unique aspect and soil makeup. These plots are vinified individually, but it is the ubiquitous 'Susucaru' estate wines with which Frank is arguably more widely known for. They offer an approximation of this somewhat extreme location and use a mixture of local red grapes like Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Capuccio and Uva Francesa selected from each of the various contrada and blended together.

Perhaps the most coveted of these wines is Susucaru Rosato, an aromatic pink wine that blends the aforementioned red grapes with white varietals Malvasia and Moscadella as well as the workhorse Sicilian grape Catarratto. With the 2019 the aromatic side of this wine is really soaring and sits in nice contrast to the smoky fruit of the Mascalese. We also have a small amount of this wine in magnum. Aged for a year longer, the Susucaru Rosso 2018 is a blend of red grapes only. One of the palest vintages of this wine we have seen, it is a striking translucent ruby colour that begs to be served chilled. The fruit is generous and the acidity taut - think sour cherry and charcoal smoke. Again, there are a few magnums for the lucky few who are quick!

At the opposite end of the spectrum we are also very happy to have received just a single case of what could best be described as the holy grail of the Cornelissen wines - Magma 2017. This is the very top cuvée of 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. If the Susucaru wines offer a sketch of Etna then Magma is a portrait of the volcano in high-definition detail. An incredibly special bottle that will continue to improve for decades to come.

We also have a few cases of the other estate wines Munjebel Bianco and Munjebel Rosso from the 2017 vintage, which are drinking very well after a bit of time in the bottle, and of course will both lay down beautifully for those that would prefer to wait.

If you're unfamiliar with Frank's wine or you're back for your annual fix - you know what to do.