Pécharmant is thought to be the combination of two names: Armand and Pech. Pech is a Celtic word for hillsides and Armand for a man, Armand Erman, who possessed this territory before the thirteenth century when it was known by his first name. The vineyards of Pécharmant are the oldest vineyards in the Bergerac region. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, a vineyard existed here owned by the Lord of Bergerac and a little further north was an ecclesiastical vineyard owned by the parish of St. Martin.
Pécharmant AOC was recognised by Decree on 12 March 1946.
Landscapes and terroir
The vineyards of Pécharmant - called Vinée North of old - are arranged in a semicircle north of Bergerac, on the right bank of the Dordogne. They consist mainly of south facing slopes that receive a good level of sunshine. Only four towns produce Pécharmant: Creysse, Bergerac, Lembras and Saint-Sauveur. The peculiarity of this appellation comes from its soil "Périgord sand and gravel", created by a transformation of granite rocks from the Massif Central. The soil surface has been washed over time exposing the subsoil of clay and iron. This deep and impermeable layer, called the "tran" gives Pécharmant the unique taste that is typical of the appellation.
In 2000, the appellation consisted of 395 hectares of vineyards, producing 19 800 hectolitres declared Pécharmant. This surface is divided among 46 producers who make wine in 15 wine cooperatives (30% of the surface) and 31 private cellars. The average area per holding is 8.5 ha, illustrating the family nature of the farms.
The richness of the Pécharmant comes from the balance of the blend of grapes matured to perfect ripeness. On average, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon for body and bouquet, 16% Cabernet Franc for delicate fragrance, 41% Merlot for smoothness, 7% Malbec (also called Côt) for its velvety texture. The planting density is fixed at 4000 plants / ha minimum since 1992.
HARVEST AND WINE
Anxious to keep up the standard of Pécharmant, the Union of Wine AOC Pécharmant modified its production conditions in a decree on March 12, 1992. There were two noteworthy changes; first the blend must be prepared from at least three of the recommended varieties and second, the yield is maximum 45 hectoliters per hectare.
Pécharmant wines have a beautiful colour. They are dark and dense. The minerality of the terroir brings a racy and elegant character to these rich wines. Enjoyable in youth thanks to the roundness of merlot, they also age elegantly offering light tobacco nuances that blend harmoniously with aromas of cherries in brandy. They can be enjoyed from their third year but reach their full potential after 6 or 7 years. These are wines for aging, they can happily age for even longer, 10-15 years and sometimes more.
Ideal food pairings include game, red meat (beef, lamb, duck) and cheeses. The ideal temperature for tasting is 18 °.