Andrea Calek / Le Mazel

Valvignères, France

Gerald and his sister Jocelyne Oustric have been making natural wine since the 1990s in Valvignères, an at the time unlikely epicenter for what has become a natural wine hub of the Ardeche. Being honest with the capabilities of Ardechoise terroir from the start, the Oustrics have never changed their style, making the sorts of wines that are just way too easy and pleasing for almost all camps of drinkers. It’s easy to take these wines for granted in their simplicities, but as more and more time passes for me, these are the bottles I’d like to have consistent access to in my cellar. Andrea Calek, an outsider Czech punk who landed in the area and was mentored by the Oustrics, has taken on a much more low-key profile the past few years, with his partner Stefana more or less leading the domaine. In line with Le Mazel, the Calek wines tow a similar path of nuanced ease—it’s always a joy to have wines from either of these producers in stock.

Le Mazel Cuvée Raoul 2021

Andrea Calek A Toi Nous 2022
Syran, Grenache

Andrea Calek Blonde 2023
Viognier, Chardonnay