The Wine: La Cligne De L'œil Gewurztraminer 2013
La Cligne De L'œil Gewurztraminer 2013 by cult winemaker Anders Frederik Steen is a skin contact natural wine made from 100% Gewurztraminer grapes farmed organically and biodynamically in Alsace, France. The grapes come from 0.60 hectares of 50-year-old vines planted on clay and limestone belonging to the Bannwarth family. Hand-harvested fermented spontaneously with native yeasts, unfined and unfiltered, no added sulfites. The wine spends 66 months in old barrels before being bottled. Only 3 bottles available.
The Producer: Anders Frederik Steen
Anders Frederik Steen is a Danish winemaker, who formerly worked as a chef and sommelier at some of the best restaurants in Denmark, most notably Noma, where he was the sommelier, Manfreds, and Relae. This previous life was essential in shaping his winemaking approach, which explicitly eschews every established rule, and seeks the unexpected from every vintage.
Anders’ approach starts in the vineyards, from the grapes, which he uses as a source of inspiration for the type of wine that he will make. He sources his grapes at Jocelyne & Gérald Oustric’s farm, Le Mazel, in the village of Valvignères, Ardèche region. The vineyards have been farmed organically for a long time and yield healthy grapes with which Anders has been experimenting for a few vintages.
Anders Frederik Steen’s wines all have a distinct personality. The reds, mostly Grenache-based, are pressed directly or destemmed by hand, fermented spontaneously, bottled unfined and unfiltered; the whites are pressed with an old-school wooden press and made as naturally as possible with no additions. Ardèche shines through in all of Anders’ wines, true terroir-driven wines.