Toast the Wines from Bordeaux’s Maison Sichel at VanWineFest 2020

Maison Sichel would like you to know about their winery and try their wines at the Vancouver International Wine Festival 2020.  Read about them in their own words.

About Maison Sichel

James Sichel and his 4 brothers own and manage their 7 generation family company, Maison Sichel, established in Bordeaux since 1883 and involved in many areas of the Bordeaux wine world.

The Sichel family

The Sichel family (Photo courtesy www.sichel.fr)

A cosmopolitan family with branches all over Europe, the Sichels of Bordeaux were of British origin. Looking back across the generations, the family’s involvement in the world of wine began in 1856 when Hermann Sichel, then aged 65, set up a wine merchant business in Germany.

In 1938, Allan Sichel, a member of the British branch of the family, joined forces with three other families to buy the legendary – but at that time extremely dilapidated – Château Palmer. For more than 65 years, continuous, sustained investment has been made in the estate in the quest for greater quality, and it is this which has helped to build its reputation. Today, it is viewed as one of the flagship estates of the Médoc.

Spring at the vineyards of Chateau Angludet (Photo courtesy www.sichel.fr)

Spring at the vineyards of Chateau Angludet (Photo courtesy www.sichel.fr)

In 1961, Diana and Peter A. Sichel bought Château Angludet, AOC Margaux, where they went on to raise their six children. The major renovation work they carried out on the estate took more than 40 years to complete. Today, wine critics are unanimous in placing Château Angludet among the best estates in the Médoc.

Maison Sichel became the first Bordeaux wine merchant to build its own winemaking facility. For more than forty years, Maison Sichel has cultivated close ties with its partner winegrowers who are stringently selected according to quality criteria. Each year, Maison Sichel buys in the grapes to supply to its winery; this means that it is able to control every stage of the winemaking process and produce its own brand wines such as Sirius.

In 1990, the Sichel family expanded its interests in the Corbières by buying Domaine du Trillol. The estate lies in a majestic setting at an altitude of 400m (1,312ft), surrounded by fragrant Mediterranean scrubland and overlooked by the castles of the Cathars. The property originally consisted of just six hectares of vines. After sustained investment for more than fifteen years, the vineyard has now grown to 40 hectares.

In 2002, Maison Sichel bought Château Argadens. It immediately began a major investment programme to restructure the vineyard, increase plantation density, modernize the winery and build an ageing cellar. Its ambition for the years ahead is to go on improving the quality of Château Argadens to get its wines recognized as some of the best in the Bordeaux Supérieur category.

Today Maison Sichel brings a wide diversity of wines to market that stem from deliciously made value wines to some of the most iconic brands of the wine world.

The Wines We Will Feature at the International Festival Tasting Room

Chateau Argadens Blanc 2018 – a blend of 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon. Once they have reached optimum maturity, the grapes are harvested by machine. The Sémillon grapes are pressed immediately, whereas the Sauvignon is vatted and undergoes pre-fermentation maceration. Pre-fermentation maceration is carried out under carbon dioxide gas to protect the grapes and must from oxidation. After pressing and settling out, some of the must is fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats and some in new, 225-litre French oak barrels. Once fermentation is complete and the wines have been lightly racked, they are aged on the fine lees and stirred regularly. The different parcels of Sauvignon and Sémillon are then blended and fined with bentonite prior to bottling in January or February, depending on the vintage.

Brilliant in appearance with pale yellow tints, this wine offers a powerful nose, its fruity notes of apricot and grapefruit zest underpinned by subtle nuances of acacia blossom and boxwood. A blend of Sauvignon and Sémillon, it displays superb balance on the palate, which is supple, fleshy and vibrantly fresh. A long finish with notes of tropical fruit and peaches.

Pellehaut Rose 2018 – Domaine de Pellehaut has been owned and managed by successive generations of the Béraut family for over 300 years. This rose wine is a blend of 25% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Tannat, 10% Malbec, 10% Pinot Noir, 8% Syrah, and 7% Manseng Noir. Harvesting is done by machine and each variety is picked and vinified separately. Once at the winery, the grapes are very carefully destemmed and crushed, before being transferred to stainless steel vats. The grapes are left to macerate for a short while and the lightly coloured must is then run off, producing a delicate rosé by the saignée method (which literally means to bleed). The unfermented grape juice is vinified at a low temperature (between 15 and 17°C). Once the alcoholic fermentation is complete, the wines are left on their lees at a low temperature to maximize the primary fruit aromas. The wines are lightly fined and filtered before bottling.

This wine is a pale, limpid pink blush, with an intense nose of red fruits, violet and rose. A mix of fruity freshness and roundness on the palate; a convivial wine to drink whatever the season. Meant to be enjoyed over the next 24 months.

Chateau Argadens Rouge 2016 – Since acquiring Château Argadens, the Sichel family has put in place a vast renovation program, with the aim of making the wine a benchmark within the Bordeaux category. Argadens red is thoroughly modern Bordeaux with lots of concentrated fruit and an attractive, supple balance. This wine is a blend of 63% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc. The date of harvesting is determined plot by plot, according to how the grapes taste, and picking by hand means that only the best berries are selected. The alcoholic fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled 210hl stainless steel vats. Post-fermentation maceration and malolactic fermentation are also done in vat. Once the wines have been pressed (pneumatic press), they are put for 12 to 14 months and racked frequently. Before bottling, they are fined and lightly filtered.

This wine is a nice dark garnet red colour with lights showing the richness of this exceptional vintage. The complex and expressive bouquet is a harmonious mixture of dark red fruits aromas and very elegant oaky notes. It is a crisp and sappy wine which offers sweetness and richness on the palate The Cabernets add the necessary freshness to enhance the pleasant tannins of the Merlots. A wine with a very good balance which offers a lot of pleasure after several years in the cellars.

Maison Sichel Chateau Argadens Blanc 2018, Pellehaut Rose 2018, and Chateau Argadens Rouge 2016

Maison Sichel Chateau Argadens Blanc 2018, Pellehaut Rose 2018, and Chateau Argadens Rouge 2016

Chateau Trillol 2015 – High in the hills of the Corbières, in a stunning corner of southwest France, Château Trillol has been the Sichel family property since 1990. At 400m above sea level, the vineyard is located in two of the Corbières terroirs: Termenès and Quéribus. Here the local grape varieties, Grenache, Syrah and Carignan (harvested by hand), result in an authentic wine that is packed with character and a strong sense of place. This wine is a blend of 57% Grenache Noir, 28% Carignan Noir, and 15% Syrah Noir. The grapes are totally de-stemmed and then fermented for 6 to 8 days at 30 to 32oC. Maceration lasts for 30 to 40 days with daily pumping over. The vats are runoff and the press wines separated from the free-run juice. This is followed by malolactic fermentation. Some of the grapes are vinified by carbonic maceration. Depending on the vintage, the wine is then aged for 6-12 months in oak barrels and racking takes place every 3 to 4 months. Trillol is lightly fined but not filtered before bottling.

Expressive, crunchy nose of ripe black fruit – blackcurrant and prune. Elegant and supple sum up the palate, the clean attack dissolving into a medley of jammy, peppery and spicy aromas. The exquisitely fine tannins reflect the generous sunshine at altitude. A wine with many years ahead of it. Serve at 17°C-18°C – A good match for poultry, grilled red meat and creamy cheeses. It will also pair well with a delicious granary bread.

Chateau Angludet Rouge 2016 – TRADE only – Owned by the Sichel family since1961, Angludet is situated at the heart of the prestigious appellation of Margaux and surrounded by Cru Classé properties. It is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot. Traditional vinification is carried out in cement vats. Vatting lasts for between 20 and 30 days, depending on
the vintage and, after the malolactic fermentation, the wines go into barrel (one-third renewed every year) and remain there for 12 months. The final selection of which wines will go to make the final blend for Château Angludet is made in the following February or March. The process of selection is strict (as only the best wines can be included) and is done by a series of tastings. Once the final blend has been done, the wine is fined with egg whites and very lightly filtered before bottling.

The deep colour of this wine is the portent of its intensity. The nose is tantalizingly fruity and full of promise. The cassis and blackberry aromas make this a taut wine on the whole but pervaded by a certain softness. The palate is rounded and creamy, with velvety tannins, ripe fruit and a refreshing touch of acidity that creates a balanced whole, as well as delicate spices which evolve on the palate and lend unique character to this vintage. The finish is long and light as air. The hot late-August weather helped concentrate the grapes after the springtime rains, imparting finesse and rare elegance.

Maison Sichel Chateau Trillol 2015 and Chateau Angludet Rouge 2016 wines

Maison Sichel Chateau Trillol 2015 and Chateau Angludet Rouge 2016 wines

Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings and restaurant reviews. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.

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