The farm and vineyards are located in the Northern valley of the Etna, an active volcano, in Sicily. Nowadays the northern valley is considered as Etna’s top area for single-vineyard (contrada) red wines like the “Côtes-de-Nuits” in Burgundy or Piemonte’s “Barolo” area. The estate’s surface area is approximately 24 hectares, of which 13ha are old vines in the classic free standing alberello training system (Gobelet or bush-vine), 9ha of old vines transformed into modern rows with various widths, approximately 2ha of olive growth and the remainder are fruit trees, vegetables and bush. Although Etna has a tradition in high density plantation of vines, Cornelissen seeks to reduce monoculture and has thus interplanted various local fruit varieties which attract bees to regain a complex ecosystem. The new vineyards are planted without grafts, using a selection of our original, ungrafted vines.
Cornelisson’s farming philosophy is based on acceptance of the fact that man will never be able to understand nature’s full complexity and interactions, hence they choose to concentrate on observing and learning the movements of Mother Earth in her various energetic and cosmic passages and prefer to follow her indications as to what to do, instead of deciding and imposing ourselves.
The 2019 Nerello Mascalese Munjebel seduces with a rich and sweetly scented bouquet of crushed black cherries, dried roses and cloves. it’s silky in texture, enveloping all that it touches with ripe red fruits and spices, nicely framed by maturing minerality, as inner violet florals toward the close. There are tannins here, but they don’t get in the way; instead, they create a perfectly dry platform where notes of lavender, plum and allspice hover above.
The Munjebel is a blend of fruit from Frank Cornelissen’s vineyards across the northern valley of Etna. It aims to please, and it will excel at doing so through short-term cellaring.[92 Points, Eric Guido – June 2021, vinous.com]