While many know Sichel through association with Chateau Palmer, Margaux.
Few know the family originated from Germany.
A link that gave birth to a partnership with Pieroth.
Two historical wine families combined to give two great wines to drink with friends and family.
Johannes Pieroth Charles Sichel
Sichel has always held the view that, as a wine producer based in Bordeaux, the level of quality of our AOC Bordeaux wines should be irreproachable and consistently high. To this end, forty years ago, we became the first negociant in the region to invest in a vinification cellar. In creating Cave Bel-Air, we broke out of the mould of the traditional Bordeaux merchant or negociant to become, in New World parlance, a winery, responsible for the quality of its wines at every stage, from grape to bottle. Cave Bel-Air vinifies grapes from some 200 hectares of vines, making red, white and rose AOC Bordeaux wines. It works in partnership with a limited number of growers, who all adhere to a Charter of Quality that covers all aspects of viticulture, such as how the vines are trained, how often they are treated against pests and disease and which products are used, control of yield levels and, finally, when and how the grapes are harvested. Grape selection at harvest time is strictly controlled by Maison Sichel's own technical team and when they arrive at the winery itself, the same team decides which methods of vinification and ageing will get the most out of the grapes.
Tradition: experts in wine for over 300 years
On the other hand the history of the Pieroth family can be traced back to the year 1675. They have been known as vintners since 1705. The company’s head office is still located in their home town of Burg Layen. Over the last 300 years, however, a family wine- growing estate has become a global corporation.
MUNICIPALITY: Canton de Saint Macaire
TERROIR : Clay-limestone soils on the slopes of the Right Bank of the Garonne river and Boulbene in the Entre-Deux-Mers region.
RED VINIFICATION: Selection of various plots of vines is done before the harvest. Once the grapes are judged by Sichel's technical team to have reached perfect ripeness, the grapes are picked and sorted so that only the best are used. The grapes are vinified traditionally: once the bunches have been de-stemmed, the berries go into temperature controlled stainless steel vats and are fermented at between 30 to 32oC to maximize the extraction of colour and flavour. They are kept at this temperature until the vats are run off and the free-run wine obtained. The cap is then gently pressed (using a pneumatic press) to extract supple, ripe tannins. The wines go back into vat for the malolactic fermentation.
WHITE VINIFICATION: A great deal of care was shown to the vines and each bunch of grapes to ensure grapes of good quality: control of yields and of vigour (short pruning, the planting of grass, a synthesis of amendments), checks on maturity and reasonable protection. If the quality of the grapes is good enough they are harvested by machine, otherwise a team of experienced grape pickers pass in front of the machine in order to remove grapes of a lesser quality. Thanks to this selective sorting of grapes, we carry out 100% of the skin maceration before fermentation during 8 to 12 hours of cold under carbon dioxide gas. The grapes are then pressed using a pneumatic press. The juice is maintained at a low temperature (12°C) and protected from oxygen by the use of carbon dioxide. After the juice has settled for 24 hours, the wine is drawn off and put in stainless steel tanks with automatic thermo-regulators. The must is mixed with dried active yeast, specially selected for Sauvignon must. The fermentation temperatures are kept between 13 and 15°C in order to best preserve the aromas of Sauvignon. After fermentation the wine is racked once in order to remove the heavy lees and then it is matured for 3 to 4 months on the fine lees, whilst being stirred once a week. Before it is bottled the wine is fined and treated in the cold in order to avoid precipitation in the bottle.