Frank Cornelissen Munjebel Rosso Perpetuum 1 N.V.
“Classified as a table wine, the Frank Cornelissen NV Munjebel Rosso Perpetuum is a very wild and untamed wine with dried fruit aromas, underbrush, autumnal leaf and more austerity overall both in terms of bouquet and mouthfeel. The mid-palate is lean. The wine is called Perpetuum because it represents a blend of vintages in the style of a solera wine. This edition is a blend of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019. Only a quarter of the total was bottled for this release. Wine from the 2020 vintage was added to the vat to make the next batch. It’s a little offbeat, with both mature and primary fruit, but interesting nonetheless. Drink: 2022-2028. 91 points
Belgium-born Frank Cornelissen is an Etna pioneer, and his contributions to the success of this special Sicilian wine region are immeasurable. His influences on Italy’s natural wine movement are equally important, and he was alone in embracing both concepts (Etna and natural wine) simultaneously. His winemaking experiments on the volcano started in 2001, and Cornelissen emerges as a major figure today. In the early 2000s, I remember visiting his winery at the back of the first floor of a small building on Solicchiata’s main road. He had terracotta jars for making wine buried into the floor. He has since moved into a large space, but his non-interventionist winemaking approach remains the same. He sources fruit from a half dozen micro parcels spread all over the north side of Etna, from 580 to 980 meters in elevation. He focuses on a wide collection of indigenous grapes, including Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Carricante, Minnella (white and red) and Grecanico. His production today stands at about 150,000 bottles annually. Cornelissen is pushing toward the top of his dramatic arc, as I discovered during a recent visit with him. His wines have never been better.”
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (06/23)