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Frank Cornelissen, Nerello Mascalese "Susucaru Rosso" Terre Siciliane IGP, Sicily, Italy 2022

Frank Cornelissen, Nerello Mascalese "Susucaru Rosso" Terre Siciliane IGP, Sicily, Italy 2022

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A blend of Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Capuccio, Minella Nera, Alicante Bouschet, and Minella Bianco.

Frank Cornelissen is the owner of 19 hectares of vines rather high up on Mount Etna, and has been involved in wine his entire life. Frank is obsessive over details in an effort to make wines that truly express terroir with perspective. He is a meticulous vineyard worker and keeps an extremely clean and organized cellar. The evolution in his wines are intriguing as well. Earlier vintages were linear, angular, precise, and full of minerality. He has often said that in the early days his goal was to create liquid stone. His wines have softened with time now striking balance between fruit and dynamic minerality.

While there are are many important details in his winemaking method, the key is in the vineyards. Frank is not Sicilian, so choosing Mount Etna was deliberate. The main reason to choose the North Valley of Etna was for its its incredible and unique diversity of volcanic soils that have an immutable voice. This in tandem with Etna’s primary varietal Nerello Mascalese, led him to believe he could make wines of great complexity and distinction. He describes Nerello Mascalese to be somewhere between Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo. Frank’s best wines have the dry and sharp tannins you find in great Nebbiolo, but with the lusher fruits of Pinot Noir.

Frank works without the use of herbicides, pesticides, nor any other chemicals. He occasionally uses biodynamic treatments, but not in the ways outlined by biodynamic calendars as he feels his vineyards have their own unique schedule. There are no industrial yeasts, sulfites, or anything else added to the wines. All of the wines are fermented in small, neutral tanks and no wood is used in the cellar in order for all the wines to express their specific territory to the full extent. 

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