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translation missing: en.ACellars Newsletter, 19th August, 2021: ACellars Newsletter, 19th August, 2021

Anders Frederik Steen

Anders Frederik Steen

As a sommelier at NOMA, Anders Frederik Steen was no stranger to the natural, weird and wonderful wines that grace the lists of Rene Redzepi's Michelin-starred restaurant. His pursuit for the most natural, pure expression of wine led him to creating lists for Manfreds and Relae, picking up a number of accolades along the way.

But the simple curation of other peoples' wines, wasn't enough for Anders. He wanted to get his own hands dirty, so to speak. So in 2013 he bought some fruit and began to create his own wines, alongside legendary Jura vigneron, Jean-Marc Brignot. He was hooked.

Anders and his family now live in the beautiful village of Valvignères in the Ardèche, where he works with fruit grown on Jocelyne & Gérald Oustric’s farm, Le Mazel. It is a picturesque spot on the slope of a wide, open valley and the many varieties grown here thrive on a perfect mix of clay and limestone. The vineyards are full of life, having been tended organically for decades.

Anders draws on his restaurant background when making wines.

"Vinification, is, for us, like cooking, seasoning a sauce, making a vinaigrette or mixing a salad," he says.

"Simply put, we taste the grapes and we follow the flavours we find most intriguing."

With nothing added and nothing taken away during vinification, Anders' wines are the most pure reflection of the vintage, the site, and the grapes. Every vintage is different, and this is embraced by Anders who tries to never repeat a cuvee.

"The expressions of the grapes and terroir are never the same. We believe nature, in this way, is helping us to be curious and open to new possibilities."

All of his wines are completely unique and made in very small quantities. In fact, this is the first time they have been imported into Australia, such is the rarity of them. Needless to say, there is precious little to go around, so if you're interested, click here!

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Frank Cornelissen

Frank Cornelissen

Every year, there's a special day that rolls around. Sometime after Easter, but well before Christmas, the industry celebrates what has now become known as "Frank Day." On this day, the wines from cult Etna producer Frank Cornelissen arrive... Instagram accounts around the world light up with pics of these fabled wines, while collectors scramble to secure a bottle of the mythical unicorn Rosato. Ok, I'm exaggerating a bit... So why do people go crazy for the wines of this quietly-spoken Belgian man, living and working on the slopes of Etna? It's partly to do with the US rapper Action Bronson, who blew these wines up in an episode of F*ck That's Delicious on Viceland a few years ago. But the hype has remained due to the fact that the wines are absolutely delicious.

In this instance, it's not just a case of emperor's-new-clothes. Frank produces a stunning array of reds, whites and rosato that showcase the unique terroir of the Etna region. Frank is unapologetically  "natural" in his approach, believing that even Biodynamic practices are a bridge too far.  "Our farming philosophy is based on our acceptance of the fact that man will never be able to understand nature’s full complexity and interactions. We therefore choose to concentrate on observing and learning the movements of Mother Earth in her various energetic and cosmic passages and prefer to follow her indications as to what to do, instead of deciding and imposing ourselves. "Similarly, there are no additions whatsoever in the winery - yeast or sulphur - with Frank relying on the quality of his fruit and the natural phenolics to keep the wine stable. Perhaps it is this ultimate non-interventionist approach that has earned him the following that he has.

We have a limited amount of this years release of Susucaru Rosato and Munjebel Bianco, and believe me when I tell you that they won't last long. We've put together a Frank Pack that features a bottle of the Rosato and a bottle of the Munjebel Bianco at case price! Search the range here.

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Chatto Wines

Chatto Wines

Pleasant things come to those who wait.

After first trying a glass of Mount Pleasant Sémillon that blew him away in 1984, Jim Chatto has made a career out of convincing Mount Pleasant to employ him. Unsuccessfully applying to work for them at the completion of his studies in 1984 and again in 1993, Jim persevered to collect 20 Hunter vintages under his belt. Armed with this experience, not to mention an astute palate and knowledge as a senior wine show judge, finally in 2013, McWilliams Wines, makers of Mount Pleasant, brought him on as Chief Winemaker.

But hunting down the most pleasant job at the Hunter's Mount Pleasant has not been Jim's only life obsession. Jim moved to Tasmania as the inaugural winemaker for Rosevears Estate in the Tamar Valley in 1998, and there he found two new loves: Tasmanian Pinot Noir, and his wife, Daisy.

Daisy followed Jim back to the mainland, but the couple spent six years searching for the perfect vineyard site for Pinot. The Isle Vineyard in the Huon Valley at Glaziers Bay was first planted by Jim and Daisy back in 2007 and their first vintage was released in 2013. Despite being a hands-on personality with his time divided between the Hunter Valley, the Huon Valley and judging wines, Jim has learnt when to stand back, to let the vines speak for themselves. His most recent releases of his estate wines, Isle and Intrigue, certainly speak of home.

The Chatto Wines label adds gravitas to the landscape of Australian Pinot Noir. Jim and Daisy are genuine small producers, crafting authentic wines from a range of sites across Tassie. The depth of knowledge and experience behind the wines is phenomenal. Find the range here.