Anders Frederik Steen The Brighter Cider of Life 2021

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Valvignères, Ardèche, France
Red Winter & Viognier
Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites
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A cider/wine hybrid from Anders!

The base here is Red Winter apples from a friend’s organic farm, which were pressed directly and fermented in cuve, with the juice finishing fermentation in bottle. The bottles were disgorged at the beginning of April, at which point the cider was topped up with a little Viognier from last year’s harvest at Le Mazel (this juice will become Cuvée Mias, one of the Mazel wines Wayward imports directly). The result is a vinous and delicate take on the genre with fine bubbles and a gentle varietal perfume. A wonderful drink, so suited to spring.

The demand for the experimental, ever-changing wines of Anders Frederik Steen builds year on year. A quick intro for those who aren’t familiar - Danish-born Anders was the former somm at Copenhagen resto-Mecca Noma, before he decamped to the western Rhône with his family to set about making wine of his own. His philosophy is quite radical - every wine he makes follows a different style or technique, and no wine is repeated, ever. This means that his, now fairly iconic, minimalist back-label-as-front-label stickers bear different, often lyrical, names for the wines he chooses to release each year. Of course he is working only with the most carefully-tended organic fruit, and adding and removing nothing in the cellar. The results are always a real buzz to try.