Cornelissen's Best Yet - Come See on Thursday!

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Over the years we’ve approached each of Frank’s new vintages with excitement, suspense and perhaps a grain of trepidation. We first tasted the wines about eight years ago – they were vinous rollercoasters with thrilling loops and dives, but sometimes a bit turbid and showing some volatility. Frank always does things his own way: organic viticulture, native fermentation, no oak influence, and perhaps most famously, no chemical additions, including avoiding using sulfur in both the vineyard and the cellar. The resulting wines have a liveliness with complex texture, dense plum fruit and a ferocious minerality that speaks of volcanic vineyards perched on elevations over 3,000 feet on Mont Etna. We had the great pleasure of trying the 2013s in April, and the wines are the best we’ve had yet! The vintage produced wines that are chiseled and fresh, but still carry the concentrated power and complex structure of grapes grown on Etna’s storied slopes. Our yearly allocation has now arrived, and we will be celebrating by hosting Frank himself for an in-store tasting featuring these recent releases. We invite fans, sceptics and those unacquainted with these unique expressions to join Frank and us on Thursday from 5 unitl 7. John Rankin

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Cornelissen, Frank Grappa Rosso Del Contadino 375ml

Grappa distilled from the 2009 vintage of Frank’s Contadino blend. The star here is Nerello Mascalese (80%,) but history has left lots of rare plantings on Etna’s volcanic hills, such as: Alicante Bouschet, Nerello Capuccio, Uva Francese, Minella Nera, Minella Bianco, and Inzolia—Whew! Although a fiery 60% alcohol, I found this grappa high-toned, a bit floral, and surprisingly drinkable.  Like the un-distilled wine, Contadino is lighter and brighter in flavor to the Munjebel.  JR

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