It’s not for nothing that French newspaper Libération once referred to Andrea Calek as the punk star of the natural wine world. But beneath the rebellious image, and amidst the fleet of vintage Citroën CX, he and partner Stephana Nicolescu make wines of incredible senitivity and originality. Tending five and a half hectares of primarily old vines in a beautiful and sun-drenched corner of the Ardèche, their work reveals a unique and capricious terroir in enchanting, even poetic, ways.
As a kid growing up in Bohemia, Andrea found out he could make wine by adding sugar to his grandmother’s redcurrant juice and letting it ferment. Winding up in southern France, fleeing military service and following love, he studied winemaking in Lyon and apprenticed with natural wine great Dominique Hauvette in Provence. In 2007, he began producing his own wines on parcels acquired from another mentor and fabulous winemaker, Gérald Oustric of nearby Domaine Le Mazel. Joined by Stephana in 2016, the two practice certified organic agriculture, intervening as little as possible in the vinification process, and refraining from adding sulphites from start to finish, preferring to let the grapes and climate dictate the outcome. But the technicalities of winemaking are not why you should drink their wines Andrea and Stefana insist… drink them because you like them! We couldn’t agree more.
À toi nous - 2022
A saucy blend of Grenache and Syrah, featuring 50% direct press juice, À toi nous is Stephana and Andrea's refreshing primeur, made for fun times.
Babiole - 2022
A babiole is an insignificant trinket. Not this wine! Unassuming and easily approachable, this Grenache (60%) and Syrah (40%) seduces with its ripe fruit and hint of spice. Its minerality and subtle tannins beautifully express the hot and dry terroir of the Ardèche.
Blonde - 2021
70% Viognier and 30% Chardonnay, sunshine and salinity.
Ceci n'est pas une Blonde - 2021
A little Surrrealist humour for this delectable rosé pet-nat! Direct press Grenache.
Pénultième - 2019
90% Merlot and 10% Viognier, macerated for a month followed by eighteen months of barrel ageing, producing a smooth, textured, and sophisticated wine that will simply leave you saying “wow!” You might think of this as the ultimate natural wine, though its name suggests Stefana and Andrea always have another trick up their sleeves. In the meantime, we’ll let them keep doing their thing as we marvel at this gem.