2018 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 Susucaru. But you’ve likely never tried it, because now that you’ve heard of it, it’s impossible to find. This obscure, dark pink rose from Sicily’s Mount Etna wasn’t on anybody’s radar until Action Bronson (New York chef-turned-rapper who’s with a foodie show on Viceland called “F*ck That’s Delicious”)came along and waxed poetic after discovering it at a restaurant in Sydney: “I been waiting for this Susucaru all my life. I love this one.” Then it blew up, going from unknown to top 20 most-searched-for wines onWine Searcher almost instantly.
Made by Belgian Frank Cornelissen, a fierce supporter of natural wines, who 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, and just lets the juice and natural yeasts do their things. This raw energy is apparent in the wine, which 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 teenage red. 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.