Frank Cornelissen 'Susucaru' Rosso 2022 1.5L Magnum

Frank Cornelissen 'Susucaru' Rosso 2022 1.5L Magnum

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Region: SicilyGrape: Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Capuccio, Minella Nera, Alicante Bouschet, Minella BiancoVineyard Size: 19 hectaresSoil: volcanicAverage Age of Vines: 50 yearsFarming: organicHarvest: by handWinemaking: destemmed, gentle press, 60 day spontaneous fermentation in epoxy...

Region: Sicily
Grape: Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Capuccio, Minella Nera, Alicante Bouschet, Minella Bianco
Vineyard Size: 19 hectares
Soil: volcanic
Average Age of Vines: 50 years
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, gentle press, 60 day spontaneous fermentation in epoxy tanks with indigenous yeasts
Aging: in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 3 micron cartridges
Added SO2: values can vary from 15 to 50 mg/l., added or not, depending on the quality of grapes and stability of the wine.

From Frank: “Our entry-level red wine is a field-blend of mostly Nerello Mascalese (85%) with other local varietals from all our vineyards. Our Susucaru Rosso expresses Etna as produced in a more traditional way of blending different contradas as well as different varietals to obtain a fragrant, elegant and fluid wine with structure and personality.”


2022 VINTAGE REPORT:

We had a good winter with regular snow in the higher vineyards. The pruning of the vines and the winter works were finished in time as we invested in more people. In March it was still quite cold while we were planting a new vineyard site in contrada Scimonetta. April and May we had more humidity compared to the very dry 2021. The dry growing season started around June which put stress on the young vines which needed water in order to survive the summer, exactly like in 2021. Strenuous summer work which has become a classic. On August 8th we had some rain which gave the vines energy again. Unfortunately we also caught hail in the middle which damaged some of the grapes. End of August we had to pick the first grapes for the rosato as we had another hail blast which devastated a lot of the Muscat for the rosato…. Not a good start for the harvest. Magma was picked on October 11th.; again one week earlier compared to a record early in 2021… Yields were average to low.
Although the reds again have a relatively high Ph with lower than average acidity, the wines again have texture and personality. In the end, even in an extreme vintage like this, incredibly so, the wines are finding their balance.

ABOUT FRANK: 
Frank Cornelissen is the owner of 19 hectares of vines rather high up on Mount Etna. Uniquely, he has been involved in wine his entire life. As the son of a wine broker in Belgium, he had the opportunity to be immersed in wine on a professional level from a very young age. Frank went on to produce his first wine in 2001 when he started with only 0.40 hectares of vines.

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 it’s incredible and unique diversity of volcanic soils that have an immutable voice. This in tandem with Etna’s primary varietal Nerello Mascalese, he believed he could make wines of great complexity and distiction. He has 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!

A few words by Frank himself…

“Our farming philosophy is based on our acceptance of the fact that man will never be able to understand nature’s full complexity and interactions. We therefore choose to concentrate on observing and learning the movements of Mother Earth in her various energetic and cosmic passages and prefer to follow her indications as to what to do, instead of deciding and imposing ourselves. Consequently this has taken us to avoiding all possible interventions on the land we cultivate, including any treatments, whether chemical, organic, or biodynamic, as these are all a mere reflection of the inability of man to accept nature as she is and will be. The divine ability to understand the ‘Whole’ was obviously not given to man as we are only a part of this complex and not God himself.”

In the winery his work follows the same philosophy of using what nature provides him. 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. Frank uses neutral epoxy tanks and anforas because he likes the round shape which allows the wines to be nourished with the fine lees moving freely during the aging process.