Bordeaux Château Argadens - Private Cellar House Claret
Most House Clarets are a blend concocted in a négociant or co-op cauldron, frequently non-vintage with a heavy reliance on reserve wines to keep the house style. We decided to take the slightly riskier route of following one particular château so that the vintage is reflected in the wine alongside the house style, giving a much more faithful Claret rendition.
Vinyards and Vinification
The Sichel family, who own Châteaux Angludet and Palmer, bought the property that was to become Château Argadens in 2002, with the aim of establishing it as one of the benchmark properties in the Bordeaux Supérieur category. Located on one of the highest hills in the Entre-Deux-Mers appellation, the Argadens vineyard covers 45 hectares on clay-limestone soil, with plantings of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, along with some Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The vines are on average 30 years old.
The vineyard follows the Integrated Farming model, a more sustainable and dynamic approach to farming. The grapes are picked by hand and by plot, before fermentation in stainless steel vats. They are then aged for 12 to 14 months in barrel. We think their Bordeaux Supérieur in halves, bottles and magnums is truly delicious: rich red and black fruit, savoury and vibrant with a lovely structure behind,
Always wary about matching pairs, it doesn’t stop us wanting to find a white and red which complement each other beautifully. Unsurprisingly, given how well-crafted the Château Argadens red is, their White Bordeaux really does tick all the boxes. Here, Sauvignon Blanc gives a lovely lime-rich burst of fruit, citrussy and racy, whilst Sémillon tempers the acidity, adding a bit of fat and some waxy notes. Pure and fresh, no oak and no mucking around, this is just sublime, even if you aren’t yet a white Bordeaux fan.
Maison Sichel also own Château Trillol, found high in the foothills of the Pyrenees, in the Corbières winegrowing region. Here they focus on the classic southern varietals of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan and produce wines which are textured, rich and smoky with inky black fruits. Find their Château Trillol on our list, packing a real punch for the price.
Find their website here: http://www.sichel.fr/en/vineyards-maison-sichel/chateau-argadens.html