Natural History has been lucky to receive two dozen of Contadino Rosso 2016 (now known as Susucaru Rosso) a field-blend of Nerello Mascalese (85%) with Nerello Capuccio, Allicante Boushet, Minella and Uva Francesa, produced in a more traditional way of blending different contrada’s (vineyard sites) as well as different varietals and gives an overview of the entire estate. The wine is drinking beautifully with the hallmarks of Etna with aromas of smoke and blushing cherries, the palate has a gentle spritz and is incredibly moorish with flavours of raspberry, strawberry and earth. The bottle goes perfectly with our beef tartare starter.
These incredibly limited ‘unicorn wines’ hail from the estate which has been with the family since 2001 when Frank first visited Sicily and fell in love with the wine produced from the vineyards at a local trattoria and negotiated to buy the property in the far north of Sicily - a province known as Passopisciaro in the shadow of Mount Etna, about an hour and a half drive up from the central city of Catania.
The property is known as an Azienda Agricola, a winery engaging in a variety of farming practice; an expansive 24 hectares, 21 hectares of which are old vines, 2 hectares of olive trees and the remainder are fruit trees, vegetables and bush – this biodiversity of the estate contributes to the remarkable reflection of Etna’s terroir which has been captured in every bottle of Frank Cornelissen wine and olive oil.
Cornelissen’s unapologetic and unbending commitment to minimal intervention farming and winemaking - which has been a driving power of the estates rise to notoriety – is challenging traditions of winemakers globally and inspiring a small few. Even in difficult vintages, he has not swayed from his philosophy; avoiding spraying and intervention in the vineyard, minimising yields to maximise expression and absolutely no sulphur additions in the winery to maintain a pure expression of time and place. - “highly concentrated raw material to express terroir to it’s full extent.”
Our farming philosophy is based on our acceptance of the fact that man will never be able to understand nature’s full complexity and interactions.. Mother Earth in her various energetic and cosmic passages.. prefer to follow her indications as to what to do, instead of deciding ourselves. Consequently this has taken us to avoiding all possible interventions.. these are all a mere reflection of the inability of man to accept nature as she is and will be.
– Frank Cornelissen
Quantity is limited, get in fast! To get your hands on a bottle, make a booking today.