Château Figeac 2015
• 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.
"The 2015 Figeac is a blend of 29% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc and 43% Cabernet Sauvignon that was picked from 21 September with the Merlot until 15 October with the Cabernet Sauvignon at 41 hectoliters per hectare. The Cabernet comes through strongly on the nose - classic Figeac in many ways - black fruit, a touch of cassis, pencil and a touch of rose petal. The palate is drop-dead gorgeous, its foundation a lattice of filigree tannin and perfectly judged acidity. It is very fresh from its vivacious start to its pencil-lead finish imbued with effortless grace. It is almost comical that naysayers decried that Michel Rolland would turn Figeac into some kind of fruit bomb. Head winemaker Frédéric Faye has overseen a tip-top classic Figeac without any of the greenness that occasionally affected older vintages, now boasting a level of precision up there with the very best in the Right Bank. It was difficult to find fault with this quite astonishing Saint Emilion and who knows what could transpire once it is in bottle." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Rating: 97-99, Drink: 2022-2055
"A hold onto your hat wine, the 2015 Château Figeac is pure perfection and one of the wines of this terrific vintage. A blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc, its deep purple color is followed by a huge nose of crème de cassis, black raspberries, smoked earth, and graphite. This is followed by a full-bodied, opulent and incredibly concentrated Saint-Emilion that has everything in the right places, no hard edges, thrilling purity of fruit, and a great, great finish. This is one of those rare gems that carries huge intensity and richness, yet still glides across the palate with no sense of weight or heaviness. Winemaker Frédéric Faye thinks the 2016 is even better but that certainly isn’t stopping me from giving this crazy good wine a triple digit score. Everyone owes it to themselves to try and taste this wine at least once!" Let The Good Times Roll: 2015 Bordeaux From Bottle (11/30/2017) Rating: 100