Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

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Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #1  Postby Doug Schulman » December 25th 2012, 5:24pm

This wine is not sound. Upon opening, there was a somewhat appealing nose of mainly red fruits and black pepper, along with a bit of earth and mineral. Even at that point, however, it had an awkwardly tart, spritzy palate that really didn't seem balanced. With air, the nose is deteriorating into a barnyardy, almost rotten kind of profile, with rotten red fruits, lots of black pepper, and a kind of disgusting dirtiness that is difficult to describe. The nose contains something akin to lambic beer that I've smelled on more than one occasion in a wine where something had obviously gone wrong. terrible and undrinkable.
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #2  Postby jdietz » December 25th 2012, 6:17pm

Is this the 2009?
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #3  Postby David White » December 25th 2012, 6:25pm

Doug Schulman wrote:This wine is not sound. Upon opening, there was a somewhat appealing nose of mainly red fruits and black pepper, along with a bit of earth and mineral. Even at that point, however, it had an awkwardly tart, spritzy palate that really didn't seem balanced. With air, the nose is deteriorating into a barnyardy, almost rotten kind of profile, with rotten red fruits, lots of black pepper, and a kind of disgusting dirtiness that is difficult to describe. The nose contains something akin to lambic beer that I've smelled on more than one occasion in a wine where something had obviously gone wrong. terrible and undrinkable.


Doug,

I'm torn on Cornelissen's wines for a number of reasons, but in part because I'm not a natural wine ideologue.

That said, my guess is that your wine spent some time at temperatures above 60 degrees -- which is very problematic for Cornelissen's wines, as they don't see any SO2.

Because they don't see any SO2, Cornelissen relies entirely on naturally produced CO2 (carbon dioxide) to keep the wine fresh. This depends entirely on cold transports/storage of the wine from production until consumption.

If the wine hasn't been exposed to unsafe (>60) levels of heat, any CO2 will dissipate after about 30 minutes. If, however, it's been exposed to heat, then the CO2 will go out of solution and be more noticeable on the palate.

I say this having had Cornelissen's wines three times. On the first two occasions, they were disgusting -- undoubtedly spoiled at some point in transit. On the third time, however, all the wines were structurally sound, fascinating, and not flawed.
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #4  Postby Andrew Hall » December 25th 2012, 9:17pm

That is a bunch of crap. I get butter, cheeses, caviar and whathaveyou from Europe that everyone from the producer to the retailer makes sure is shipped with care at all points in the chain. And if I buy a steak from Luger on the East coast or Flannery on the West, it is shipped to me under care. Why are we making excuses for con artists from the producer to the retailers that don't take the same care? Or is it that the actual product itself is created with such a variance that even the slight variation creates almost random results? Either way, it is bullshit and a scam on the end purchaser.

I have had great Cornelissen and appalling. And at the end, there is absolutely no excuse why this random bullshit persists. If you can't get a quality product reliably into the hands of the paying customer, then don't sell it. And I find it almost hostage syndrome the excuses that are made for this.

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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #5  Postby Chris Blum » December 25th 2012, 9:49pm

I'm 0 for 2 on his wines. Both were garagiste purchases. I'll probably never buy another bottle of FC for reasons along the lines that Andrew just stated. I don't need to be part of some experiment or vanity project, thank you.
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #6  Postby G. D y e r » December 25th 2012, 10:00pm

Andrew Hall wrote:That is a bunch of crap. I get butter, cheeses, caviar and whathaveyou from Europe that everyone from the producer to the retailer makes sure is shipped with care at all points in the chain. And if I buy a steak from Luger on the East coast or Flannery on the West, it is shipped to me under care. Why are we making excuses for con artists from the producer to the retailers that don't take the same care? Or is it that the actual product itself is created with such a variance that even the slight variation creates almost random results? Either way, it is bullshit and a scam on the end purchaser.


+1. If a producer wants to play on the international stage, then distribution needs to be taken into account. Distribution is part of the process. Maybe the wine needs to be at a lower temperature all the way, in which case the producer must make sure those handling the wine use extra care. If this isn't feasible, then it should simply be sold locally where it passes directly from cellar to consumer. You can't have it both ways, i.e. a fragile, meta-stable wine that has worldwide recognition.
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #7  Postby Ross Massey » December 26th 2012, 9:02am

Chris Blum wrote:I'm 0 for 2 on his wines. Both were garagiste purchases. I'll probably never buy another bottle of FC for reasons along the lines that Andrew just stated. I don't need to be part of some experiment or vanity project, thank you.


I don't think Frank is to blame for Garagiste's bad supply chain. Bottles from Zev Rovine show much better than the "Free Run LLC" bottles from Garagiste. Definitely worth paying up a little bit for a reputable importer.
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #8  Postby Doug Schulman » December 26th 2012, 9:04am

Jim, I don't see a vintage listed. I assumed it was 2006, but am not sure. The lot code ends in 006, with the rest being letters.

David, what you're saying makes sense to me, but I agree with others that if that is the case, these wines should not be sold. period. I bought this from Garagiste. Despite what I think about some of their business practices, I believe they are very concerned with ensuring proper shipping and storage conditions. The wine was shipped to me in cold weather and kept in a basement for several weeks before opening. It might have been above 60 in that basement, but not by much. certainly not above 70. Whatever the case is, I will no longer buy any wines from producers who do not add SO2. I've had way too much variability from a couple of others to waste my money and time.
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #9  Postby G. Greenbaum » December 26th 2012, 9:41am

I have had good luck with the Cantadino and Susucaru lines. Both wines, imho, are fascinating. I have purchased mostly from Garagiste without bottle issues.
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #10  Postby jdietz » December 26th 2012, 10:01am

There is a NV of this. I have the 2009 I need to try. Fingers crossed, as I've not had any issues to date with his wines.
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #11  Postby Oliver McCrum » December 26th 2012, 10:55am

David White wrote:
Doug Schulman wrote:This wine is not sound. Upon opening, there was a somewhat appealing nose of mainly red fruits and black pepper, along with a bit of earth and mineral. Even at that point, however, it had an awkwardly tart, spritzy palate that really didn't seem balanced. With air, the nose is deteriorating into a barnyardy, almost rotten kind of profile, with rotten red fruits, lots of black pepper, and a kind of disgusting dirtiness that is difficult to describe. The nose contains something akin to lambic beer that I've smelled on more than one occasion in a wine where something had obviously gone wrong. terrible and undrinkable.


Doug,

I'm torn on Cornelissen's wines for a number of reasons, but in part because I'm not a natural wine ideologue.

That said, my guess is that your wine spent some time at temperatures above 60 degrees -- which is very problematic for Cornelissen's wines, as they don't see any SO2.

Because they don't see any SO2, Cornelissen relies entirely on naturally produced CO2 (carbon dioxide) to keep the wine fresh. This depends entirely on cold transports/storage of the wine from production until consumption.

If the wine hasn't been exposed to unsafe (>60) levels of heat, any CO2 will dissipate after about 30 minutes. If, however, it's been exposed to heat, then the CO2 will go out of solution and be more noticeable on the palate.

I say this having had Cornelissen's wines three times. On the first two occasions, they were disgusting -- undoubtedly spoiled at some point in transit. On the third time, however, all the wines were structurally sound, fascinating, and not flawed.


The flaws the OP was referring to would not be prevented by CO2. 'No SO2' means no protection against microbial spoilage.
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #12  Postby Morgan Twain-Peterson » December 26th 2012, 11:24am

I had a friend open this wine for me recently who knew my love of Nerello and I have to say it was a horrific. Brett, lactobacillus, the resulting, nose-hair singeing VA to go with both. Even compared to the fragile Sans Soufre bottlings of Allemand and very low-sulfur bottlings from Lapierre and Foillard which sometimes go into microbial frenzy with poor handling (but whose well-stored efforts I have greatly enjoyed) this was really, really, bad.
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #13  Postby doug johnson » December 26th 2012, 11:44am

I tried the Munjebel 7 one time.

It was imported by Zev Rovine, retailed by Chambers. Obviously, the entire time the bottles were sitting at Chambers on the shelf, they were above 60 degrees, so if the wines are really so fragile that a stay on the retail shelf would spoil them, I agree they shouldn't be sold. And I don't really know my way around wine flaws but it definitely crossed my mind that the bottle had problems but I attributed that as the winemaker's intention...

my tasting note:
Color: dark purple with a perfectly transparent meniscus. Cloudy. Nose is a little bit of stewed fruit, little bit of acetic acid - but in a nice way! Tangy attack, sourness, molts into a gentle sweetness, almost like the pre-fermented grape juice re-asserting itself. After some time in the glass, the sweetness vanishes, replaced with bracing acidity. Long finish, culiminating in the smell/taste of burnt rubber....mercaptans?
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #14  Postby Brian G r a f s t r o m » December 26th 2012, 12:19pm

Morgan Twain-Peterson wrote:... Even compared to the fragile Sans Soufre bottlings of Allemand ...

are all of Allemand's bottlings "sans soufre"?
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #15  Postby G. Greenbaum » December 26th 2012, 3:03pm

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
Morgan Twain-Peterson wrote:... Even compared to the fragile Sans Soufre bottlings of Allemand ...

are all of Allemand's bottlings "sans soufre"?


No-only those labeled as such.
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #16  Postby David White » December 26th 2012, 4:27pm

Doug Schulman wrote:Whatever the case is, I will no longer buy any wines from producers who do not add SO2. I've had way too much variability from a couple of others to waste my money and time.


Natural wine ideologues will hate us for thinking such a thing, but this really isn't a bad idea.
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #17  Postby Matt Latuchie » December 26th 2012, 5:16pm

David White wrote:
Doug Schulman wrote:Whatever the case is, I will no longer buy any wines from producers who do not add SO2. I've had way too much variability from a couple of others to waste my money and time.


Natural wine ideologues will hate us for thinking such a thing, but this really isn't a bad idea.


i'm kinda pissed at both of you...
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #18  Postby Ross Massey » December 26th 2012, 6:42pm

Doug Schulman wrote:David, what you're saying makes sense to me, but I agree with others that if that is the case, these wines should not be sold. period. I bought this from Garagiste. Despite what I think about some of their business practices, I believe they are very concerned with ensuring proper shipping and storage conditions. The wine was shipped to me in cold weather and kept in a basement for several weeks before opening. It might have been above 60 in that basement, but not by much. certainly not above 70. Whatever the case is, I will no longer buy any wines from producers who do not add SO2. I've had way too much variability from a couple of others to waste my money and time.


I really think it's hard to place any faith in the statements of a guy who charges $90/bottle for random, awful Alsatian wines from the 70s and calls it a "legendary German cellar"
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #19  Postby Brian G r a f s t r o m » December 26th 2012, 9:24pm

G. Greenbaum wrote:
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
Morgan Twain-Peterson wrote:... Even compared to the fragile Sans Soufre bottlings of Allemand ...

are all of Allemand's bottlings "sans soufre"?


No-only those labeled as such.

Cool. Thanks, 4G. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #20  Postby Doug Schulman » December 27th 2012, 6:58am

Matt Latuchie wrote:
David White wrote:
Doug Schulman wrote:Whatever the case is, I will no longer buy any wines from producers who do not add SO2. I've had way too much variability from a couple of others to waste my money and time.


Natural wine ideologues will hate us for thinking such a thing, but this really isn't a bad idea.


i'm kinda pissed at both of you...

I knew that would get your goat.
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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #21  Postby Aaron Nix-Gomez » December 27th 2012, 8:00am

Have you all read Frank's blog post about a bottle of MunJebel Rosso 4 he tried which had been sitting on the shelf of a bar for four years?

http://www.tachu.net/frank/blog/2012/wine-storage/

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Re: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 6

Post #22  Postby Hank Beckmeyer » January 1st 2013, 9:44am

I've tried most of the Cornelissen wines, and I must say that the Munjebel line (his middle-tier) is the most "unreliable". I've had interesting bottles and not so interesting bottles. The white Munjebels don't appeal to me at all. I've only had the chance to try the Magma (his top wine) once, and it was fantastic. Quirky, but really satisfying. The Contadino and Susucaru are usually very good, especially the latest bottlings, and a lower cost way to try out Frank's style/philosophy.
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