This wine is something else. It's fresh and lively and has a slightly fruity/sour tinge -- like a very weak sour patch -- that sounds crazy, but that's what it reminds me of. If you have this wine with some stronger cheeses, it really rewards you. One can almost taste the volcanic soil this wine comes from. Very interesting and unique, but definitely not a mainstream wine.
Ripe pomegranate fruit on the nose, but not much of it. Other things are just more prominent: aromatic wood scents, smoke, malt and rubber. Medium bodied and supple on the slightly effervescent palate. Ripe red berries, goji and pomegranate. Some bitter orange, quinine and smoke. Altogether a bit weird and definitely not as balanced as Munjebels tend to be.
Vibrant clear and pale garnety red: about the color of rooibos tea. Wildly aromatic, and I mean that literally. Wild roses, herbs, bright cranberries, patent leather on the nose. All that in layers on the palate with a long, muddy and slightly meaty (more mud than meat, though) finish. Medium firm tannins with a bit of spritzy tang on entry. Definitely a wine for the wine nerd to totally geek out over. I would drink up now though. It doesn't strike me as a long term keeper. You want to experience this relatively fresh. Pair with a tomato chicken dish or a high-end "gourmet" pizza.
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Ok folks, I'm not going to beat around the bush – this set is painfully limited this year (only 200+ cases were produced of the MunJebel Rosso 6 and only 60 cases of the Magma). Requests from around Europe alone would over-sell this lot by 3-fold so I'm not holding out hope for an allocation of significance. To wet your whistle, I will tell you that Frank believes the MunJebel Rosso 6 is the finest wine he’s ever made (red or white)...that is, until the new vintage of Magma is discussed. There his eyes glaze over...
Both wines are EXTREMELY LIMITED – my guess is only 2-3 dozen cases of MunJebel Rosso to split up between all 50 states and something like 5 cases of Magma. That’s as limited as it gets.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for one of a kind style, fascinating complexity and inspiration to an emerging generation of winemakers around the globe.
This parcel is directly from the source with perfect provenance:
2009 (2008) Frank Cornelissen MunJebel Rosso 6 (Etna) - Frank: “A rich and fragrant wine. This year in the final blend, there is more of the aged wine, which is something I’ve been trying to accomplish. This is approximately 900 litres of 2008 and 1.300 of the 2009 vintage. A classic, traditional Nerello Mascalese with tannins and sweetness, the old way - maybe the best wine I’ve ever made – so complete”.
(I nursed a bottle of this wall-of-stone-painted-red for five consecutive days and it’s another game-changer from Cornelissen. This is about more than just an eccentric diversion – this is a real wine that drips (steams?) Etna from every pore of its rocky, cement-like foundation that’s been layered with slabs of the purest cherry red fruit and fresh tobacco notes. A highly charged wine that remains self-assured and unforced - with nothing but time on its side. By day five, I had enough of spitting and promptly consumed the remainder (I'm sure it would have been just as good on day 6). Serious and memorable – JR)
2008 Frank Cornelissen Magma (rosso/Etna) - Frank: “A profound wine, rich and elegant at the same time. The character of the vineyard Barbabecchi Soprano is expressed to it's full extent. I have to say, I opened a bottle last night for journalists and I couldn’t keep the laughter from bubbling over. I surprised myself with this one – outrageous, such length, such reflection and so true to The Mountain”.
(I still believe this is liquid mountainside and not really “wine” at all. That about sums it up - JR)
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Jon Rimmerman Garagiste Seattle, WA
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