Frank Cornelissen is undoubtedly one of the rockstars of the natural wine scene (although he might not like to agree). A Belgian living on the foothills of Mount Etna, his wines are full of volcanic minerality and a strong sense of place. From the glouglou favourite ‘Susucaru’ to the more serious Munjebel & MAGMA wines, his volcanci terroir and winemaking skills have earned him a loyal cult following from natural wine lovers and fine wine critics alike.
MAGMA - One of the wine world's most sought after wines?
MAGMA is a rare wine, with only 1500 bottles produced each vintage. A pure expression of Etna’s native Nerello Mascalese grape, this wine with a hand-painted label from Frank’s wife is as mystical as it is hyped. Nerello Mascalese, also featured in all the red Munjebel wines (many are differentiated by their different Cru’s) is a seriously powerful yet elegant grape - it’s often referred to as the Nebbiolo of the South, and requires age to really shine. Vintages play a key role in Frank Cornelissen's wines, and you can visit his website to read his tracking of the struggles or gains in each vintage and how this affects the wines. Regardless, the ever-in-demand MAGMA wine can always be found in auctions for rather inflated prices, so it's good to take advantage of getting one at a normal price like most shops offer when you can, but keep in mind - there are such a limited amount that the trouble is not the high price, but the availability - especially as this wine is not just sought after in the natural wine scene but also the world of fine wine collectors...
The more accessible Susucaru & Munjebel
Featuring field blends, and mixing red + white native varietals, Susucaru Rosso and Rosato has been made popular online, aided through famous rappers like Action Bronson championing it as well. Those who hear about the popularity of the more serious wines like Magma, may tend to opt for Susucaru from the more affordable pricepoint and larger availability. It's worth knowing how different the wines are in their power. Susucaru is fun and easy, and Munjebel is big and powerful - which we would suggest decanting for the best expressions.