Anders Frederik Steen, Quand Tu Balances
A light brick colour in the glass, red cherry and spice, neat tannins carry an earthy, saline complexity. A remarkably savoury wine, so suited to autumn.
Grapes: Marsanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Carignan
Place: Valvignères, Ardèche, France
Anders Frederik Steen makes wine from “grapes and only grapes”. He’s been doing this since 2013 when he first started buying fruit from winemakers he admired and making wine alongside legendary Jura winemaker, Jean-Marc Brignot.
Anders and his family have now settled in the beautiful village of Valvignères in the Ardèche, a beautiful spot amongst a wide, open valley. The many varieties grown here thrive on a perfect mix of clay and limestone and the vineyards are full of life, having been tended organically for decades.
As well as his own vineyards, Anders also picks grapes with the Ousrics in Valvignères and further afield with the Bannwarth family in Obermorschwihr, Alsace.
In his previous life Anders was both a chef and sommelier, working at the best restaurants in his native Denmark. First as a sommelier at Noma, later opening Manfreds and Relae. This experience informs his winemaking in that he does not seek to follow rules and doesn’t feel the need to do the same thing every year. Instead, as he harvests he tastes the grapes and begins to imagine the kind of wine he might be able to make.
This refreshingly logical, creative approach yields wines that are truly one of a kind