Château Figeac 2017 (Pre-Arrival)
• 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 2017 Figeac is composed of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Very deep garnet-purple in color, the nose sings of Cabernet Sauvignon—bright crushed black currants, blackberries and wild blueberries with wafts of lilacs, pencil shavings, tobacco, tilled earth plus a hint of bay leaves. The medium-bodied mouth is fine, elegant, minerally and incredibly vivacious with tons of energy. Bright and refreshing with firm, grainy tannins and a provocative hint of chew, it finishes with great length. This should age wonderfully. 100% new oak was used for this sample and it is very well-integrated." - Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2018, Issue 236), Rating: 94-96
"The grand vin is the 2017 Chateau Figeac, which was made only from first-generation grapes and is 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, and only 10% Cabernet Franc that was brought up in new French oak. It offers a beautiful bouquet of creme de cassis, tobacco, violets, and tobacco, with a touch of forest floor and earth. Made in a pure, elegant, medium-bodied style, it's beautifully textured, seamless and elegant, with silky tannins and a solid spine of acidity. It's going to be drinkable in 4-5 years and cruise for 15-20 years." Jeb Dunnuck, 2017 Bordeaux From Bottle (2/26/2020) Rating: 95