Location: Italy, Sicily, Etna  ITA

Frank Cornelissen has been around wine most of his life, if you ask him, he will tell you that he "stumbled into wine because of passion." The son of a wine collector in Belgium, Frank’s passion for wine eventually drove him to Etna, where he made his first vintage in 2001. It was just 500 bottles of what he refers to as "Liquid Rock." Frank was drawn to the Northern Valley of Etna and says that he was "attracted to territory and terroir."  Unlike other regions with a historical lineage, such as Piemonte or Burgundy, Frank says that Etna has a balance between environment and vineyards as well as dry and cool climate.

Etna, in a short period of 10-15 years, has gone from a region that very few outside of Sicily even acknowledged to a region that today is offering wines comparable to the quality found in "Barolo level" wines. Frank believes that in a few decades we will "see what Etna is really about." That being said, and given that his wines are already on a world-class level, we simply cannot wait to see what the future holds for the Etna region and Franks wines. Over the past 15 years his wines have come a long way. Frank is now making high-definition, Single-Vineyard wines in a precise way and his personality and attention to detail are reflected in the glass.

Across the industry Frank’s wines have been labeled as "Natural Wines." However, Frank himself takes a distant stance from that term, simply because it has never been truly defined, neither by natural producers, nor by law. According to Frank a "natural wine" is made without anything added and from grapes that are not treated at all. This being said, Frank is not always able to achieve this level in the vineyards as he sometimes needs to treat the vines with sulphur and copper due to vintages with humid weather conditions. Frank is very fond of nature and says "it is our heritage and we need to respect it if we want to leave healthy land to the next generation. If you treat nature well it rewards you with profound products." Some would say that great wine is made in the vineyard, but Frank will tell you that this is only part of the road. He states that wine is an expression of culture where man plays an important role in transforming and “educating” wines to their full expression. Therefore the cellar is an important instrument which enables man to make the wines express themselves to their best and show their territorial identity thanks to the grapes cultivated by man in harmony with Nature.

Over the past decade Frank has become a leading producer in Etna and his wines are a testament to the high quality coming from the region. The style of his wines can be compared to that of Barolo, Burgundy, or even a combination of both. In this report we tasted Frank's latest releases from the 2013 vintage. These were an absolutely stunning set of age worthy wines that should not be missed.

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Wines tasted in this report

2013 FRANK CORNELISSEN Magma® Rosso 97 See Tasting Note
2013 FRANK CORNELISSEN MunJebel® Rosso 'Vigne Alte'3 95 See Tasting Note
2013 FRANK CORNELISSEN MunJebel® Rosso 'Chiusa Spagnola' 96 See Tasting Note
2013 FRANK CORNELISSEN MunJebel® Rosso 'Monte Colla' 94 See Tasting Note
2013 FRANK CORNELISSEN MunJebel® Rosso 92 See Tasting Note
2013 FRANK CORNELISSEN 'Contadino' 90 See Tasting Note
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