Château Figeac 2012
• Domaine: Château Figeac
• Appellation: Saint-Émilion
• Classification: First Growth, Premier Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
Château Figeac is considered one of the jewels of the picturesque Saint-Émilion village. It is situated next to Château Cheval Blanc, one of the champions of the appellation.
This unique Right Bank producer yields wines that rival some of the finest in the Médoc. Due to higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon going into the wine, a characteristic unique to Château Figeac among Right Bank producers, due to its well-endowed terrior, its wine has a remarkable aging potential unlike the more accessible while young, and Merlot dominant wines from the area. As the years progress, if well-cellared, Château Figeac continues to dazzle, impress, and grow more coveted with each passing vintage. In fact, demand is so high for offerings of Château Figeac that many buyers who are fortunate enough to come into contact with a bottle often purchase it immediately — for they never know when it will sell out.
One of the many attributes that makes this Saint-Émilion producer such a viticultural tour de force is its unique terroir. Château Figeac is located in what is known as the Graves region of Saint-Émilion. Very few producers in the Right Bank are fortunate enough to experience the luxury of this enviable terroir. The special gravel topsoil is heat absorbing, light reflecting, and excellent for drainage. Unlike the majority of Saint-Émilion’s limestone and clay heavy soils that are well suited for cultivating Merlot and Cabernet Franc, Château Figeac’s special terroir is perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon. The estate’s 40 hectares of vineyards are evenly planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
Château Figeac is one of the oldest vineyards in the Right Bank. The Romans saw the land’s great potential and cultivated vines on the estate approximately 2,000 years ago. Château Figeac received its name in the 18th Century, and the enormous 200-hectare estate continued to change hands over the ages. As ownership changed, parcels were sold off, including some to the legendary Château Cheval Blanc. In 1955 during the Saint-Émilion Classification, Château Figeac was classified as a Premiere Grand Cru Classés Class B Estate -- a high honor.
Eventually the estate was procured by Thierry Manoncourt who was known as, “the Pharaoh of Saint-Émilion.” Manoncourt showed an unprecedented level of commitment to Château Figeac and was responsible for a number of innovations at the estate. He introduced temperature controlled stainless steel vats to the fermentation room and oversaw the production of Château Figeac’s second wine, Le Petit Figeac. Château Figeac was the first Right Bank producer to set the precedent of creating a Second Wine, and many other châteaux followed suit shortly thereafter. Manoncourt was considered a giant within the wine industry, and this former President of the Saint-Émilion Jurats proudly championed the entire region. Unfortunately, in 2010 he passed away and ownership of the estate changed hands to his widow, Madame Marie-France Manoncourt.
After a brief period of uncertainty, Château Figeac rebounded spectacularly with a legendary vintage in 2015. As the years progress, the wines improve in quality at a staggering rate, and it is widely speculated this Premier Grand Crus Class B estate is due for a promotion at the next reclassification of Saint-Émilion producers, currently expected to be held in 2022. Given the price appreciation Château Pavie and Château Angelus saw after their promotion to Class A, it is no surprise speculative buyers are snatching up Château Figeac all around the world.
"Tasted blind. The 2012 Figeac put in a marvelous showing under strict blind conditions and it has clearly blossomed in bottle. It has an immediately engaging bouquet with vivid blackberry and raspberry fruit, wonderful mineralité and fine delineation. This is very composed, with a touch of graphite that almost takes you towards Pauillac rather than Saint Emilion. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, well-judged acidity, harmonious and lively with commendable precision towards the finish. This is a sophisticated and well-crafted Figeac that appears to be on an upward trajectory. Tasted January 2016." - Neal Martin, robertparker.com, Rating: 93
"The 2012 Figeac is super-expressive. Dense and fleshy in the glass - yet with gorgeous aromatic lift - the 2012 is impeccable in its overall balance. Dark red plum, cherry pit, cloves, leather, sage and licorice are all laced into the inviting finish. Within the context of the year, the Figeac has a fair amount of structure, so it is best cellared for at least a few years. There is a lot to like here. Michel Rolland blended the 2012 and took over the consulting at Figeac in full beginning with the 2013 harvest."- Antonio Galloni, Rating: 93
"A step up over the 2014, the 2012 Château Figeac is a big, opulent, authoritative Figeac loaded with ripe black fruits (blackberries, currants), smoked earth, roasted herbs, and truffle aromas and flavors. Rich, powerful, concentrated, and tannic, it’s a blockbuster that has 2+ decades of prime drinking ahead of it. The 2012s can still be found in the market and are smart buys." Jeb Dunnuck, Let The Good Times Roll: 2015 Bordeaux From Bottle (11/30/2017) Rating: 95
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