2010 Ch. Figeac, St Emilion

2010 Ch. Figeac, St Emilion

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Chateau Figeac | Code: 7706 | 2010 | France > Bordeaux > St-Emilion | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

BBR

18.5/20

TIM_ATKIN

97

DECANTER

18.5/20

JANCIS

16.5+/20

WS

93-96/100

TIM_ATKIN -

As it was in 2009, this is one of the top reds on the Right Bank. I only hope the price is a little more sensible, after last year’s miscalculation. The Cabernet Sauvignon at the core of the wine is what makes it so special, giving it rigour and structure for the Merlot and Cabernet Franc to adorn. On second tasting, the wine was even better:
fine, grassy, yet concentrated.
(Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com, May 2011)
 


 

DECANTER - This is a Figeac wine with plenty of substance but still elegant and fresh in style. Dense, lively, expressive fruit. Firm but fine tannins. Great length.
(James Lawther MW- Decanter – Apr 2011)

JANCIS - High-toned minerality on the nose. Lots of appetising sap and savour. Loose and round and easy peasy. Attractive in that it’s not overdone; possibly a chance missed in that it’s just slightly slack. Or possibly it’s Figeac..! Ah. That last phrase was written when I tasted this blind and it's true that this potentially great wine rarely shows well en primeur. Hence the hopeful double plus after the score. Though its gravel soils will not have done the wine any favours in this exceptionally dry vintage.
(Jancis Robinson MW- jancis robinson.com April 2011)

WS - Exotic fig, boysenberry and blueberry preserves are married to polished tobacco and spice notes in this dense red, which has lots in reserve but is very sleek through the finish for now. It feels as if this will fill out considerably with more élevage.
(James Molesworth – The Wine Spectator – Top Scoring Bordeaux 2010 – 31 Mar 2011)

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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