Wrapped in a beautiful ruby and garnet robe, the 2012 Château Argadens presents itself as the poster child for Right Bank Bordeaux. This delicious blend of 63% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc offers generous fruit, surprising complexity and supple balance, which have no doubt contributed to the consistently high marks this wine has earned in tastings and competitions. Enticing aromas of boysenberry, cassis (also known as blackcurrant), cedar and spice waft from the glass. At first, this wine appears light, lovely, and eminently drinkable in the mouth, but there is more to come so don’t rush this well-crafted Bordeaux. Allow the wine’s attractive olfactory to seep completely into the flavor of the wine by affording 15-20 minutes or more of aeration. Beautiful red and black berry fruit flavors emerge on the palate backed by seductive earth tones and velvety tannins that provide a long, satisfying finish. Enjoy this charming Bordeaux now at cool room temperature (60°-64° F).
Red Bordeaux is perhaps the world’s most celebrated wine. It enjoys a vaunted reputation for rich, long lasting wines, which far too often are tannic and unattractive in their first few years of life. Consequently, such wines are often paired with rich, spicy dishes, which is much to their detriment at any stage of development. However, only a fraction of this sprawling appellation’s red wines require five, ten, or more years in the cellar. Moreover, in our experience, simple well-prepared meals bring out the best in red Bordeaux, including the 2012 Château Argadens, regardless of the wine’s age or pedigree. Consequently, consider lean cuts of beef such as filet mignon or sirloin as accompaniments. Tender veal chops and whole roasted chickens with a savory sage stuffing complement the 2012 Château Argadens, too. Roast duckling, served with a simple orange or blackberry glaze, provides another choice accompaniment. Fine French cheeses such as Port Salut make good companions to classic red Bordeaux as well, yet there is nothing wrong with enjoying the classic 2012 Château Argadens all by itself. Bon Appétit!
Château Argadens is one of the four great Bordeaux châteaux owned by the Sichel family, proprietors of Châteaux Palmer and Angludet, two of the most illustrious classified Bordeaux estates, and whose family name is practically synonymous with Bordeaux itself. Maison Sichel purchased this ancient property in Saint-André-du-Bois 60 km south of Bordeaux and renamed it Château Argadens in honor of the noble family that founded the estate in the thirteenth century. The original name of this property was La Salle d'Argadens.
Château Argadens enjoys an ideal location atop a high hill in Entre-Deux-Mers, one of the highest points in all Bordeaux, where the sun exposure and drainage are superb. Upon acquiring Château Argadens, the Sichels launched a major investment program to restructure the vineyard, increase plantation density, modernize the winery and build an ageing cellar. Efforts are ongoing to ensure that this work is carried out with the greatest precision and care, the objective being to allow the quality of the terroir to be expressed to the full. Sparing no expense, Château Argadens is hand harvested and receives the same care as the Sichels’ classified growths, with the estate’s red receiving a full year of ageing in small oak barrels, a high percentage of which are new. In recognition of the quality one can expect from this château, the 2012 Château Argadens (this month’s feature) was awarded a Gold medal at the prestigious Concours de Bordeaux in 2015 as well as Bronze medals at recent Decanter World Wine Awards and the Concours Général Agricole Paris.
Château Argadens encompasses approximately 111 acres, of which 103 of those acres are devoted to Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc for the château’s red wine. Château Argadens also produces very fine white Bordeaux from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
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