After four generations of grape growers, Philippe Sicard took the leap of putting in bottle the family’s first wines for commercial production. Of the 40 hectares of vines that have been accumulated over the last century he produces only a small portion from his holdings that come from the strongest parcels and makes the best wines from these limestone and clay terroirs. When you are with Philippe everything he says is spoken with intensity and passion through his seriously hard Catalan-influenced French accent. Once you step into his vineyards, you can see the connection he has with them. While he claims to follow no dogma, he clearly works his vineyards shepherding the vines along with nature’s rhythms. It is not hard to see that his vines operate in a different way than his neighbors as his soils are regularly tilled and his vines are abundant with growth and health, which he attributes to the vines finding depth in his soils. His style of wine is one of unapologetic pleasure. Like the man, the wines are full of flavor, energy and authenticity, and sing in the glass with southern French dialect.
Lay Of The Land
Domaine Sicard’s 40-hectare estate is located in the heart of the Minervois appellation, in the Languedoc-Roussillon. The region stretches from the Catalonian border all the way to the western edge of the Rhône Valley, making it France’s largest winemaking region and the world’s second largest in wine production. This striking Mediterranean land is predominantly planted to the red grape Carignan, which, by law, can dominate no more than 40% of the blend. Secondary reds are also planted in the area such as Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. Primary white varietals include Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Rolle and Maccabeu. The region’s warm climate and abundant sunshine are well suited to these local varietals. All of this along with the diversity in soils, characterized by pebble terraces, sandstone, limestone, schist, clay, sand, etc, give a fantastic range of tastes and aromas of the south of France.