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Frank Cornelissen Contadino 9 Etna Rosso

SKU #1116296 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Contadino 9 wafts from the glass with translucent red fruits and freshly cut flowers, all supported by firm yet well balanced tannins. There is gorgeous purity and focus in the glass, even if the Contadino remains a touch fragile and fleeting. The Contadino is a great introduction to the quirky wines of Frank Cornelissen. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2016. Frank Cornelissen has attracted a lot of attention in recent years for the natural wines he makes on the Etna. The lack of added SO2 in the wines leaves bottles fragile and highly vulnerable to spoilage, even under the best of conditions of transport. I tasted the entire range of new releases in Italy, and found the wines highly variable. That is coming from someone who very much admires the best wines made in this style...Readers who want to explore these wines should expect to see more bottle variation than is common in virtually all other wines made throughout the world. There is no question these are divisive wines. When they are on, they can be magnificent, but that is about 50% likely in my experience.  (2/2013)

K&L Notes

Okay, I'm going to go out on a limb and proclaim that these are some of the coolest wines coming out of Italy. To reiterate everything they're doing would take way too much room here, and their website is a great read anyway, but suffice to say it involves extreme biodynamic farming, buried amphorae, no fining or filtering whatsoever, no sulpher dioxide, the works. These are the 'natural' wines that the new generation of sommeliers and geeks are getting all excited about. In general, I feel many of these 'natural' wines are interesting to taste and discuss, but to drink them can be somewhat burdensome. Many lack snap and refreshment. I opine that just because a wine is made 'naturally' like it was 2000 years ago doesn't necessarily mean it's inherently good. Would you want to employ 2000 year old dentistry? No thanks, I'll take that 20th century invention called Novacain. Same goes for temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, SO2 where necessary, etc. However, Frank Cornelissen, mad genius that he is, pulls is offf. These wines are incredibly drinkable, light but incredibly dense, layered and complex at the same time. Again, I think these to be among the most exciting wines to be coming out of Italy, from one of its most exciting areas. I can't recommend them enough. (Chris Miller, Italian Wine Specialist, K&L LA)

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Price: $27.99
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- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world.