The 2021 Figeac was picked from September 21 until October 19 and matured, as usual, in 100% new oak. It has a very pure, elegant bouquet, the Cabernet Sauvignon imparting subtle pencil lead notes, blackberry and briar, almost understated at first but gaining vigor with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, a fine bead of acidity and just the right amount of sapidity. There is unerring symmetry about this Figeac, which is extremely focused yet unconcerned about showing off. There is lovely piquancy on the finish. Unequivocally one the finest Right Bank wines in 2021. Frédéric Faye continues to guide Figeac to the pinnacle of the appellation.
Drink 2027 - 2060
Neal Martin, vinous.com, (May 2022)
Lovely aromatics right off the bat, good spice, white peppers, touches of savoury cassis. This 71% mix of the two Cabernets is the highest ever at Figeac, and you feel it in this savoury, rosebud, leafy character to the palate, brilliantly handled and one of the wines of the vintage. This delivers careful balance, sculpted fruits, with a juicy finish. 100% new oak. Romain Jean-Pierre technical director. 38hl/h yield, harvest September 21 to October 19 (with a three week gap between Merlot and Cabernet). 3.65ph. First vintage with the new cellar. 70% production into Figeac, 8% press wine. Tasted twice, excellent quality.
Drink 2028 - 2044
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2022)
One of the highlights of the vintage on the Right Bank, the 2021 Figeac is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc and 29% Merlot, and the fruit of a harvest that lasted a full month, from September 21 to October 19, with each parcel picked at optimal maturity. Offering up aromas of blackberries, cassis, rose petals, violets, cigar wrapper and sweet soil tones, it's medium to full-bodied, supple and seamless, its velvety attack segueing into a deep, layered core of beautifully vibrant fruit, concluding with a long, saline finish. The first vintage vinified in Figeac's new winery, it's a resounding success for administrator Frédéric Faye and his team.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (Apr 2022)
Berry fruit with just a hint of oak. Sappy with plenty of freshness and drive. Velvety attack then a firm tannic structure all the way through. Just a hint of grainy tannin on the finish. Long. Typically Figeac in style.
Drink 2028 - 2046
James Lawther, jancisrobinson.com (May 2022)
A red with lots of dark-fruit, graphite and tar aromas and flavors. It’s medium-bodied and very integrated with firm, polished tannins and a long finish. Racy and compact. Silky texture.
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (May 2022)
About this WINE
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. The estate is located in the north-west of the appellation with its vineyards adjoining those of Cheval Blanc. Its 54 hectares of vineyards lie on a deep, Médoc-like gravel topsoil over a flinty, iron-rich subsoil. Figeac was promoted in 2022 to the level of Premier Grand Cru Classé A, the top tier of the St Emilion classification.
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
Cabernet 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.