2012 Ch. Figeac, St Emilion

2012 Ch. Figeac, St Emilion

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Chateau Figeac | Code: 17203 | 2012 | France > Bordeaux > St-Emilion | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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Bottle 6 x 75cl

1cs

£350.00

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

1cs

£495.00

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Scores and Reviews

BBR

17.5/20

DECANTER

17.5/20

JANCIS

16.5/20

PARKER

86-88/100

WS

91-94/100

DECANTER - Smoky blackcurrant nose and palate. Already quite expressive. Mid-palate more supple than usual. Tannins firm and grainy on the finish.
James Lawther MW, Decanter, April 2013

JANCIS - Deep dark cherry colour. Bright, cedary and blackcurrant aroma. Slightly herbaceous but not overly so. Very gentle tannins, velvety already. Super-suave and approachable, just fresh enough. (I tasted this blind but extended the drinking dates when I saw at the end of the tasting that it was Figeac!)
Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com, 26 Apr 2013

PARKER - The dark ruby/garnet/plum-colored 2012 Figeac is somewhat angular (no doubt because the Cabernet Sauvignon was not as ripe as it could have been), but it possesses an attractive, cedary, underbrush, Christmas fruitcake, black cherry and black currant-scented nose. Elegant and medium-weight with good purity as well as a slightly narrow finish, it is a very good to excellent Figeac that should drink well for 12-15 years.

Several months ago the big news in Bordeaux was that Madame Manoncourt, the incredibly charming, vibrant, 80-year-old owner of Figeac, decided a make-over was necessary for this estate to regain its proper place in the market as well as elevate its quality, which has been mixed since their last great vintages of 1964 and 1970. Michel Rolland was brought in as the consultant, although he only did the assemblage (blending) for the 2012. He will have full control over the 2013.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr 2013

WS - A very direct, compact and muscular style, with a dark core of currant, steeped blueberry and plum notes, liberally coated with roasted vanilla and melted licorice accents. Rather rounded for the vintage and a step behind the 11, relying more on a caressing edge than vigorous drive.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 8 2013

The Story

Chateau Figeac

Producer

Chateau Figeac

Château Figeac is one of the leading St. Emilion estates and its wine, with its high Cabernet content, has often been described as the most Médoc-like in St-Emilion. Since 2010 Figeac has been managed by Comte Eric d’Aramon and his wife Laure. It is located in the north-west of the appellation with its vineyards adjoining those of Cheval Blanc. Its 40 hectares of vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon 35%, Merlot 30%, Cabernet Franc 35%) lie on a deep, Médoc-like gravel topsoil ('Graves') over a flinty, iron-rich subsoil.

The alcoholic fermentation takes place in wood and the malolactic in stainless steel. The wine is matured in 100% new oak barriques for 18-22 months. Ideally, the wines need at least 10 years-bottle ageing to show at their best. Figeac is classified as a 1er Grand Cru Classé (B).

Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

Region

St-Emilion

St Emilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank. 

St Emilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel. 

Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol.  Atypically for St Emilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.  

In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices.  The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.

St Emilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012

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