Barberry Garden

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Magma - 2017

Frank Cornelissen

4.3 / 5.0

Italy » Sicilia » IGP Terre Siciliane
red still, dry
Nerello Mascalese
15900 UAH, 11000 UAH
not available
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Frank Cornelissen Magma 2017

Ah you think magma is your ally? You merely adopted the magma. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the sun until I was already a vine, by then it was nothing to me but blinding!

Magma is molten rock that is underground, and lava is molten rock that breaks through the Earth's surface. Wait, I took the wrong book. Turns out, Magma is 100% Nerello Mascalese from Contrada Barbabecchi. The 100-year-old vines enjoy North and Northeast exposure at 870m - 910m above sea level. The vineyard was planted in 1910.

The grapes are destemmed and crushed lightly, and then the fermentation starts with Pied de Cuve. The juice stays in contact with the skin for about 50 days. The wine ages in 1500-2500 L neutral epoxy tanks for 18 months.


4.3 / 5.0750 ml@Garage · Frank Cornelissen by Ivan Omelchenko

This bottle presents a more delicate and intriguing experience than my previous encounters. It features a complex array of aromas including herbs, cola, spices, ripe cherries or cherry confiture, with intriguing hints of soy sauce, raw meat, and red flowers. The profile is round, ripe, and generous, offering excellent balance and a long aftertaste. Despite its 'pussy drink' character, I found it genuinely enjoyable and well-crafted.

Wine #9 on Frank Cornelissen by Ivan Omelchenko event.

4.0 / 5.0750 ml@Garage · Sicily by Vova and Mykola

Prejudice - this is how I felt about this wine. After all, Frank Cornelissen wines are not my cup of tea. He doesn't even produce tea, for god's sake!

After spending a few hours in a decanter, Magma climbed to the surface and turned into a fluffy, toothless and sweet creature. It offers a fistful of hibiscus, peonies and red fruits. Round, velvety and jammy. I had to double-check if it was dry cause it felt just like cough syrup (with some similarities in structure).

Look. It's much better than I expected, less punchy, more flowery and perfumed. But it's… straightforward. There is no fire. Seamlessness is its main feat and the reason behind such a high score. Maybe I am just toxic.

Wine #7 on Sicily by Vova and Mykola event.

Frank Cornelissen

At a glance

  • Hailing from Belgium, Frank Cornelissen transitioned from a career as a wine broker to a visionary winemaker, surrounded by exceptional wines from an early age. This unique backdrop set the stage for his future endeavours in the world of viticulture.
  • In 2001, Cornelissen established his estate on the slopes of Mount Etna, a region then largely off the radar for most wine aficionados. This choice was both a declaration of independence and a challenge to himself; he was drawn to uncharted territory, free from the weight of tradition and expectations. This move was driven by a blend of pioneering spirit and, perhaps, a touch of masochism. Yet, amidst these challenges, Cornelissen was convinced of Etna's potential to yield wines of extraordinary complexity and character.
  • Wine is a cultural product. For Cornelissen, wine transcends its physical form to embody a cultural expression. It's not just a beverage but a narrative of the land, the climate, and the myriad human decisions that guide its journey from vine to bottle.

Frank Cornelissen's journey into the world of winemaking is a tale of passion, innovation, and a deep respect for nature. Originating from Belgium, where he was surrounded by fine wines, Cornelissen embarked on a path less travelled, setting his sights on the volcanic soils of Mount Etna in Sicily. In 2001, he established his vineyard in a region then little known among wine connoisseurs, driven by a belief in the land's untapped potential to produce wines of remarkable complexity and distinction.

Cornelissen's approach to farming and winemaking diverges from conventional methods, including biodynamic practices, which he consciously opts out of. His philosophy is rooted in a purist, almost radical (in a good way), interpretation of natural winemaking. He focuses on minimal intervention, allowing the vineyard's unique terroir and the inherent qualities of the grape varieties to express themselves freely. This means eschewing additives and cultivated yeasts in favour of indigenous ones, and avoiding the use of barrels to ensure the purest expression of the vineyard's character.

At the heart of Cornelissen's winemaking philosophy is the belief that wine is a cultural artefact – a narrative of its environment, the climate, and the human touch that guides its creation. This perspective drives his meticulous attention to detail in every aspect of the winemaking process, from the careful selection of vineyard sites to the thoughtful handling of the wine at every stage of its development.

Cornelissen's wines are a reflection of his commitment to authenticity and excellence. They challenge conventional tastes and invite enthusiasts to explore the deeper, more nuanced layers of wine's relationship with its origins. Through his innovative practices and philosophical approach, Frank Cornelissen has not only redefined winemaking in the Etna region but has also contributed to the broader conversation about sustainability and authenticity in the world of wine.