Last time out I commented on my love/hate relationship with Bordeaux. Whether it’s classically styled austere Médocs or the more generous, plummy and plumpy right bankers, I’m now on a mission to discover those affordable hidden gems which Bordeaux can still offer.

First up the keenly priced Château d’Argadens 2005 “Bordeaux Superieur”, owned by the Sichel family, joint owners of the famed Margaux third growth, Château Palmer and of rising star, Château d’Angludet.

A bit of background

Château d’Argadens was bought by the Sichel family in 2002 (it was known as Château Salle d’Arche at the time). Since then they’ve overhauled the operations there, increasing density of plantings, modernising the cellars and making better wines.

Their hard work has been recognised a decent medal count at Le Concours des Grands Vins de France.

The is located about 40km south of St. Emilion, in Saint-André du Bois, in the Entre-Deux-Mers (between the two waters of the Dordogne and Garonne rivers).


The grapes which go into the Château d’Argadens 2005 are as follows:

  • Merlot (58%)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon (35%)
  • Cabernet Franc (7%)

Tasting experience

I first tried the Château d’Argadens about 15 months ago at a tasting but only got around to buying it last week as part of my “falling in love again” project.

On opening, none of the promised suppleness, complex berry fruit nor easy drinking. Iron filings. I moved straight on to a New Zealand Pinot Noir which was immediately satisfied.

After about 90 minutes when dinner (lamb) was served, I came back to the Argadens. No iron filings, this time – just a sublime with the food. Great fruit and an acidity which lifted the whole experience. Perfect example of what a bit of a breathe and good food can do for a wine. It was really starting to sing as we finished the bottle and definitely a wine to bring one back to Bordeaux.

Available from:

Available from:, (’04 vintage) and Mitchell and Son from €12.95.

Related Links

  • Sichel Family
  • Google Map of the approximate location of Château d’Argadens