Frank – “The Wine-Maker”: Our favorite quote about Frank as a winemaker was: “Frank Cornelissen may just be the most driven, ardent, perfection-oriented winemaker in the world.” We tend to agree with Tom. To say that Frank Cornelissen is a perfectionist is an understatement of monumental proportions.
Frank’s Vineyards: The article also highlighted one of Frank”s vineyards: Barababecchi which is a 100 year old vineyard planted with pre-phylloxera ungrafted vines. As the article states: “The soil here is pure lava rock, and the vines are in the classic alberello system, where the free-standing plants reach only a few feet above the ground. This site is given over mostly to Nerello Mascalese that he uses for his signature red, Magma.”
Frank’s Wines: The article also contained an eloquent description of Frank”s process for making Magma:\n\n”Small yields, cluster-thinning, and cutting the bottom off some of the bunches mean that Cornelissen has only a small amount of fruit to work with for his wines; for the Magma 8VA, that total was only 1,433lb (650kg) of grapes from 5,400 vines. From this he ultimately had the potential to produce 800 bottles, but after tasting the wine, he decided that some of the product in the smaller amorphae was not up to his quality standard, so he declassified a total of 300 bottles and used that wine in the MunJebel Rosso offering. As a result, Cornelissen produced fewer than 500 bottles of Magma 8VA – 430 standard 75cl bottles and 30 magnums. Given this minute amount of wine, it is easy to understand the price of this wine, roughly on par with a few of the finest Barolo crus.”
Frank Cornelissen continues to gain in stature and his wines are garnering more attention worldwide [link to Le Comptior Features New Year’s post]. Recently, Magma was named 2011 wine of the year by wine-pages.com. [link to Wine of Year Post] We also interviewed Frank recently about his approach to wine-making – you can see our interview here.
We could not be happier for Frank Cornelissen, because his profile is building the right way, it has not been done with a marketing team nor a large marketing budget, it has been accomplished because of his slavish dedication to his wines, his exacting standards, and his unwavering values. The result is that he produces wines that demand attention just because they exist.
If you have never tasted one of Frank Cornelissen”s wines – you should. We import them and you can see our profile of Frank Cornelissen here.