2017 Frank Cornelissen Etna Rosato Susucaru
Region: Mt. Etna < Sicily < Italy
Grapes: Malvasia, Moscadella, Inzolia and Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Beyond organic/biodynamic hands-off farming; volcanic soil; full skin contact for texture and territorial identity, malolactic fermentation fully finished; bottled unfined/unfiltered with zero added So2; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Frank Cornelissen
If you’re into natural wine, you’ve probably heard of Frank Cornelissen, the mad scientist of Etna. Frank and his obscure, dark pink rose weren't on anybody’s radar until Action Bronson (New York chef-turned-rapper with a foodie show on Viceland called “F*ck That’s Delicious”) declared Susucaru to be the wine he has been waiting for his whole life, waxing poetic on his show and all over the internet. It blew up, going from practically unknown to top 20 searches on Wine Searcher overnight.
Belgian-turned-Sicilian Frank Cornelissen farms his 64 volcanic acres in a totally minimalist way. As in, he even considers biodynamics too interventionist. He lets the vines grow as they wish, untrained, allowing Mother Earth “in her various energetic and cosmic passages to lead the way, instead of deciding and imposing ourselves”, he explains. The approach is similar in the cellar, where he never adds or removes anything, letting the juice and natural yeasts do their things. This raw energy is apparent in the wine, a blend of four local red and white varietals from the extreme volcanic soils of Mt. Etna. It is radically alive, electric and super sexy. Vivid wild floral tones mix with notes of Campari and blood orange juice, yellow peaches, red apple skin and strawberries on the nose. With a lick of tannin and a backbone of minerality, it’s really more like a baby red than a rosé that practically purrs with just a slight chill.It breaks my heart knowing that this one bottle that I opened to write this note is the ONLY one I will savor this year. The only taste of this magic elixir to cross my lips this year. I seriously want to make out with this wine. Or maybe just make out drinking this wine. F*ck That’s Delicious! You’re right Action, you’re so right. But did you have to F*ck it up for the rest of us? Couldn’t we have kept Frank and his Susucaru our dirty little secret?? Sigh…
Now that you’re salivating and thinking “I NEED this wine!”, I must crush your soul and tell you it is nearly impossible to procure. Since Action shared his love for it, demand has gone through the roof, and now it is super allocated. One case for the entire vintage. That’s all we got. Available as an add-on for Rock Juice Direct clients only.