On a rainy evening in March, we enjoyed an evening of Bordeaux wines and paired small plates with Max and Alex from Sichel wines. Over the last 50 years, Sichel have grown from being an acquisition off to building their own winery and bottling plant, and acquiring two estates to become one of the leading names in Bordeaux wines. It was a great evening of wine and food.
We began our evening with a smoked trout mousse and a glass of Chateau Argadens Bordeaux Blanc – a dry and full-bodied white wine made from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes, aged in oak that provides notes of nutmeg, acacia, and boxwood to compliment the grapefruit and apricot flavours of the wine. 12.5%
For pairing with our roasted butternut squash bruschetta, it was Domaine Peter Sichel Blanc – Produced in the Vallee de Cucugnan appellation and made from the Rousanne grape variety. Vinified and aged in amphorae, with only limited bottles produced in each vintage. A smaller production area has allowed for the producers to adopt practices which have led to Organic and Biodynamic certification. Between 200 and 500 meters above sea level. 20 hectares of old vines cool mountain climate allows gradual and optimal ripening. 13%.
Altura 350 – A blend of Grenache, Carignan, and Syrah, this wine offers flavours and aromas of dark fruits like plum, blackberry, and cassis. There is an elegance to the palate which has a spice and fine tannins. This paired perfectly with the duck rillette and smoked bacon butter we enjoyed. 14%.
Chateau Angludet Margaux – A powerful expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot that is at the same time restrained. The deep, dark coloured wine offers floral and perfumed notes alongside the black raspberry, liquorice, and crème de cassis flavours and seductively supple tannins, and cool dry finish. 13.5%. This powerhouse red – the heart of Sichel - was the perfect accompaniment to our beef wellington.
Next up was pan roaster pork tenderloin, for which we paired Chateau Les Moines, a long time favourite at The Crafty Vintner. Rich and smooth, with great balance, this Cru Bourgeois has been called a shining example of how good a claret can be. Complex, dark fruit flavours of plum, blackberry, and cassis are complimented by the fine oak and well-integrated tannins. Jonathan Ray of the Spectator declares that this wine should be “knocked back with abandon”. 14%.
To round off the evening in style we enjoyed Young Buck on crisp bread and a glass of Chateau d’Orignac Pineau des Charentes – A beautiful amber coloured wine produced in very limited quantities. Aromas of apricot, honey, and raisin. The sweet flavour is a charming and elegant balance of grape juice flavours and cognac aromas. Often served as an aperitif it is also perfect with fruit-based desert and chocolate. 18%.