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Nedicus Maximus
Portland, ME
my passion for wine dragged me into this business at the tender age of 18
Interests: Wine, Hash running, Rowing, general adventuring and doing things other people think are bad ideas.
Recent Activity
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8 years ago when I originally met Frank Cornelissen, he told me that he was spending all his money on buying more land on Etna. He said that more than anything he wanted to make wines that taste like liquid volcanic rock. He said he wanted to see Etna established as one of the premier wine regions in the world. Those goals sounded audacious back then, but Frank has stuck by them and is on his way to achieving them. That's crazy. Frank pouring wine at lunch Three and a half years ago I visited Frank on Etna. He'd just... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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I recently spent 4 days on Mount Etna and visited Passopisciaro, Frank Cornelissen, I Vigneri & Salvo Foti, Eduardo Torres Acosta, and SRC Vini. I work with Frank, Passopisciaro, Eduardo, I Vigneri, and Romeo Castello so I wasn't just there for fun. Etna is to me one of the most exciting wine regions in Italy. Top reason is the land and climate. I mean; it's an active volcano that is also the tallest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. The steep terraced vineyards crawl along the broken surface of the volcano, sometimes facing, east, then north, then west, and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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On my second day in Sicily I left Etna and headed south in the general direction of Gela on the south coast. It was rural rolling farm country interspersed with just empty sharp rocky ridges. I found Lamoresca without much trouble though. Lamoresca is nearly an houra and a half south but you can still see Etna on the horizon hulking over all the hills. Filippo met me in the driveway but was clearly worried because I was early and he was doing 5 things at once. I assured him that I had come early specifically to go running, so... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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In the morning I headed over to Chiaramonte Gulfi to find Pianogrillo. Lorenzo was outside supervising some work with the olive trees and also a special breed of black Sicilian pigs they raise on the farm. Pianogrillo is a 100 hectare estate that's been in his family for many generations. He seemed super involved in the details of day to day running of the farm and seemed to be particularly passionate about working in and with nature. First he gave me a short tour of the family house, which long long ago had been a fortified watch tower protecting the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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My solo running trip to Etna 3 and a half years ago to Etna was a life changing experience. It was incredible but it was also over whelming so I've wanted to go back and see Etna again. I've also seen a lot of new wines and producers come out of Etna since then, so it really felt important to get back for several reasons. So now I'm staging to get to the airport at 4 am and board an early flight to Rome and then JFK and on to Portland. I visited 7 wineries and spent almost a week... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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I met Roberto in autumn of 2018 and was blown away by his wines and his determination. Last year Roberto's wines had just come into the US so there weren't too many available and it was a really fast trip. A year's time can make a big difference and this autumn Roberto was back with new wines and more of them available! These wines are completely natural but are very precise and beautiful and pure tasting. They're expressive and elegant and real in a combination that is very rare in my experience. These are, to me, very important wines that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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I left Dora and Sanguineto and blasted over to Monte Melino outside Magione in Umbria. It was close and the Alfa was very fast. I arrived a bit early but Marco was there at the wine garage to meet me. We walked over into the vineyards. They were kind of over grown and Marco described it as being like the Amazon. Danilo generally waits until later into the spring to prune in order to delay bud break and avoid some risks of late frost killing the buds. Conestabile della Staffa Vineyards Marco sharpening up some shears for me Danilo pruning... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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The lovable wreck that is the Ceppaiolo winery Saturday we were all kind of hung over but we headed out to Ceppaiolo. Danilo let me drive the Audi. It was very fast. the technology is pretty bleeding edge stuff. We got to Ceppaiolo quickly.... Ceppaiolo is a fantastically decrepit falling down little brick work shop with random junk around it such as an old fiat sedan and a moldering camping trailer. It's in a sort of weird suburb area of the town Bastia. Danilo uses it as sort of a test vineyard. There's no family depending on making wine from... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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Ribela is hard to describe. It's like trying to describe a dream, because actually that's sort of what it is. Chiara and Daniele together became fed up with Rome and developed a passion for natural wine in around 2010. In 2013 they started working with Danilo Marcucci at Vigneti Campanino up in the mountains of eastern Umbria. As they cut their teeth there they simultaneously started looking for a unique vineyard closer to Rome, the locality they had grown up in. In 2014 they found it: a tiny 2 ha vineyard in a pocket sized valley perched up in the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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I don't even remember how long it is that I've been working with the wines of Omero. It's a been a while, but I first went and met them in the spring of 2017. Unusually I buy sort of direct from the winery which makes the relationship a bit more direct but also makes inventory more difficult. Omero started out farming pigs but soon decided it wasn't for him (the neighbors complained to the authorities about the smell and he felt it wasn't worth the hassle). Serendipitously just as he was having second thoughts about raising pigs the Montefalco Rosso... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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Sunday March 17th I drove down through rural Umbria and up some fantastic winding switchbacks to just over the border with Lazio to meet Leo Sassi and check out his new little winery. I have to say that although I got a little lost blasting through those tight winding flowing empty rural roads in a new Alfa Romeo Giulia an listening to opera was really fantastic and I was in a great mood when I finally arrived. 2018 was only Leo's second vintage. I'm not sure how much wine he made this time around but in 2017 it was just... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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It seems like everytime I go to Montelulciano it's a dark and rainy night. All two of the times! Actually, it wasn't too late when I arrived, but the sun set and the Agritourismo I thought it was staying at was completely dark. I wandered around for a bit and knocked on the door of another house which was completely unhelpful. Then it started to rain. I resorted to calling Dora Forsoni on the phone and I was shocked that she picked up. Turns out there's this other dumb winery/agritourismo with the name Sanguineto that's just up the street. I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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I don't know anything about these. Well, not quite true. I know that the Vino Rosso I is Aglianico and that the III is Nero Calabrese. They also taste very very wild and zero sulfur. Both are 2013. Beyond that though I don't know; which is very intriguing! Vino Rosso unu III Interesting aroma: it smells like dried cherries, stewed tomatoes, sweet Italian sausage with fennel seed in it....It's very evocative of place and food smells. On the palate the III is pretty big and rustic in a way I really like and (to me) is very old school. There... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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This past Monday I taught a seminar for restaurant people about "WTF is Natural Wine". The hand out I created for it ran to 8 pages long for this approx. 2 hour seminar; there was a lot of ground to cover! I spent a lot of time preparing, researching, and reflecting on my time in the wine business. It made me think that there's probably value in me capturing some of those thoughts while they're fresh. A natural fermented zero sulfur red blend from central Umbria Something that's great about the Natural Wine movement is that for nearly every rule... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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2018 Vintage 2018! Yes, that's right, it's 55 days into 2019 and I'm already drinking 2018 vintage Bordeaux. And it's really good! Wow! Bergey is made by Gerard Laurent, a retired successful engineer who bought this winery when he sold his company and retired. He applied his empirical skills to the task of making wine and within several years felt he'd seen enough evidence that natural fermentations and more natural farming produced better wine and so he threw himself into making wine with less intervention. This is his least expensive entry level wine that he makes and I think sells... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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Cantina marilina is an estate in eastern Sicily inland from Siracusa, by the town of Noto. Angelo Paterno bought and founded the estate but running it has been taken over by his daughters Marilina and Federica. Angelo was a professional wine maker who worked many other places in Sicily before... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2019 at Running Ravenously
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Calcarius Biancopuglia; hmmm, what do I know about this wine? It's made by Valentina Passalaqua and Danilo Marcucci down in Puglia, but at the northern edge of the region. This is from land on Valentina's family estate that has an extremely high proportion of Calcerous rock in the soil. Valentina makes natural wine and got to know Danilo (of Umbria) through crossing paths in the wine world. At some point Danilo visited her winery and was intrigued by this piece of land. They started talking, bouncing ideas around....and now they make wine together. The grape is Bombino Bianco, which I'm... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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Cantina Marilina Sikele Bianco Grecanico: I've been trying to get this wine for at least half a year but none was available. Finally! So anyway this is an approximately 150 acre estate in south east Sicily, sort of inland from Siracuse. It was bought by Angelo Paterno, a professional wine maker who decided to settle down with his own estate. He has since handed off to his daughters: Marilina and Fedelie. The soil is dry and limestone rich. The family farms organically and ferments with natural yeast. No fining or filtration happens here. Yes, this is a "natural" wine. This... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2019 at Wines; Tasted!
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Vintage: 2018 I forget....I think this is the 4th vintage Brian at Oyster River has made of the Morphos? Anyway, point is that he hasn't really been making it for too long so it shouldn't be a surprise that he's learned a lot with each vintage. For 2018 Brian changed the grower of the fruit he's purchasing. He switched to a smaller independent grower who was willing to give him more control over both the growing and the harvest. So the fruit was harvested without any sulfur added and sat over night which gave it some skin contact before pressing... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2018 at Wines; Tasted!
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I got the opportunity to spend some time with Roberto Henriquez over the past couple days. He has a reputation for really special important natural Chilean winesI'd heard a few rumors about him and once tasted a wine of his (which was very exciting) but I wasn't sure what to expect. Compared to Europe Chile is much more mysterious for me. So I was really interested to see what I could learn. Turns out I had lots to learn! Here's everything: Roberto lives near the Bio Bio valley. That's just north of Concepcion and right on the coast. He also... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2018 at Wines; Tasted!
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Vintage: 2014 Flonflons is a Cotes du Rhone made by Antoine and Pierre Joly. Pierre took over managing this estate in the 70s and then Antoine followed him in 1999. They've been organic since very early (early 80s? late 70s?) but only started making all their own wines in 2003. Roche Buissiere is located to the northeast of Vaison-La-Romaine. I have long loved their wine called Petit Jo and now I'm quite happy to have the Flonflons too. The two wines are sort of mirror images of each other: both are fun, juicy, and joyful. They're surprisingly more fresh and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2018 at Wines; Tasted!
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Anne Pichon is an old estate in Ventoux acquired by Marc Pichon and named for his wife. Located near the base of Mount Ventoux the domaine has various plots of Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, Vermentino, Bourbolenc, Clairette, and Rousanne on limestone soils with sand and gravel mixed in. The domaine works organically and although Marc sadly passed away from a car accident the winery is an ongoing project. I borrowed the picture above from T Edward Wines, his importer. You can read more about Pichon here on their website: Anne Pichon Back Ground Marc started making a red and a white... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2018 at Wines; Tasted!
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Tasting day I got in an early morning run up to the Castello and to the piccolo town of Monte Melino. This is the Sanctuario Madonna de Lourdes Looking up at the Castello I ran up a hill past an old cemetery and got a great shot of the broken up sedimentary rock that is common here. It's decaying and you can see it would be easy for a vine to get its roots down into it. I grabbed an espresso and then Danilo and I blasted over to his tiny little experimental vineyard: Ceppaiolo. We labeled a bunch of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2018 at Wines; Tasted!
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Is it weird this wine has gotten the Outkast song So Fresh and So Clean stuck in my head? Arcan's Albarino just smells and tastes so clean and fresh and alive and like the Atlantic that I can't help it. Arcan is made by Adega Pombal a Lanzada: a small family winery with about 5 acres in Rias Baixas, Galicia Spain. Galicia is the rocky hilly little corner of Spain up above Portugal that sticks out into the Atlantic. The climate is cool, rainy, and rather stormy; entirely unlike the rest of Spain. Rias Baixas is an appellation right on... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2018 at Wines; Tasted!
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Vintage: 2016 Grape: Gamay Noella Morantin is from Brittany originally but decided she wanted to make wine. She pursued a degree in wine making in the Loire and for three years in the early oughts she worked with Agnes and Rene Mosse. Next she spent a year working in Muscadet, and then met Junko Arai, who lived in Japan, but owned some of the former Clos Roche Blanches vineyards. Noella began working the vineyards and making the wines for Arai. Eventually the time came that Noella felt that she was ready to begin really on her own and so she... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2018 at Wines; Tasted!