Château Figeac 2018
• 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 2018 Figeac is composed of 37% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc, harvested September 17 to October 12 with a 3.7 pH and 14% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it charges out of the gate with vivacious black and red cherries, cassis, warm plums and wild blueberries scents plus fragrant hints of violets, star anise, tilled soil and forest floor with wafts of Ceylon tea and chocolate box. Full-bodied and jam-packed with energetic, crunchy black and blue fruits, it has a rock-solid, firm, grainy frame and loads of bright, refreshing sparks lifting the dense layers on the very long, savory finish. Wow—the Cabernet really makes itself known this vintage, and it is good. The signature of this wine is so clear, so defined, that this is a Bordeaux wine without peers. In my view, this is the finest Figeac ever produced." - Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/23/2019, Bordeaux 2019 Issue) Rating 97-99
"Reminiscent of the 2016 with its incredible purity and elegance, the 2018 Château Figeac offers a terrific perfume of crème de cassis, redcurrants, dried earth, tobacco, lead pencil, spring flowers, and exotic spice-driven nuances. Playing in the medium to full-bodied end of the spectrum, it's flawlessly balanced, has silky, polished tannins, and a stunning sense of purity. It doesn't have the sexiness of the 2015, but it's very much in the style of the 2018 vintage with its pure, elegant, haut couture-like style. And it doesn't show a hint of its 100% new oak élevage. Give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following 20-30 years. It's not the biggest or richest Saint- Emilion, yet the balance, finesse, and elegance are something to behold. I think it's going to check in behind the 2015 (and maybe the 2019) when all is said and done, but it's unquestionably one of the greatest Figeac in the past 20-30 years. The blend is 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, raised all in new oak. Another big “Bravo” to the talented director, Frédéric Faye!" Jeb Dunnuck, 2018 Bordeaux From The Bottle, (3/11/2021) Rating: 98