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2020 Château Figeac En Primeur

2020 Château Figeac En Primeur - due for release soon...


Bordeaux En Primeur, landing in spring 2023

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Figeac's General Manager Frederic Faye introduces the 2020 vintage in the short film below:

Château Figeac, St. Emilion

Producer Profile

Château Figeac, St. Emilion

Château Figeac is a Premier Grand Cru Classé (B) estate in the commune of St. Emilion.  It takes its name from Figeacus, the Gallo-Roman owner of a villa that stood on the site in the second century AD.  The land here has in all probability been used for vine growing since that time.   Remains of a Roman water system and medieval defences are visible at the châteaux today.

In 1947 the estate was bought by Thierry Manoncourt, who became one the of the founders of the Union des Grands Crus.  He died in 2010 and the estate is now still in the Manoncourt family.   In the 2013 reclassification of St. Emilion, Figeac remained a Grand Cru Classé (B) and was not promoted, as hoped, to (A) status.  This prompted a new focus on quality, with Michel Rolland brought in to modernise the style of the wine, to the chagrin of Figeac's many traditionalist customers.  This process also included controversial moves like retiring the Director of the estate, who had been in post since 1988. 

When we visited Figeac in 2019 we saw the new winery under construction, designed to be partially buried underground.  Do watch the short film of the new winery, below.  The estate has 42 ha of vines, planted to 35% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot.  This is an unusually high proportion of Cabernets for a Right Bank wine (due to the high gravel content in the soil) making Figeac difficult to taste when young, but rewarding with age.

The hope of the estate is that it will be promoted to (A) status in the next reclassification, in 2023.

Figeac's new winery, opened in 2021:


RED 2020 Château Figeac 75cl £935 per case of 6 Château Figeac
2020 / / 75cl
£935 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"Gentle, juicy and pure with nothing overdone. Merlot provides the broad-brush sweetness on attack, the Cabernet the fresh, minerally notes on the finish. Fine grain of tannin and aromatic complexity on the nose and palate; the finesse is there. 17.5+ points" (JL)------"This delivers concentration and intensity, a ton of black fruits, definitely Cabernet dominant in terms of fruit, and its slightly serious character, with a whoosh of juice on the finish. An extremely elegant and controlled wine, with savoury bilberry and loganberry, then peony and tobacco leaf as it opens. Tannins are finely layered but there are a lot of them. Not an exuberant Figeac, but this is rarely a wine that rushes out to seduce, it takes its time and has ageing potential in spades. The gravel soils in the drought of the summer meant the grapes slowed their ripening process, although only the youngest vines suffered blockages, and that combined with the high Cabernet content of Figeac means lower alcohols than the past few years, giving a classic balance and a feeling of effortless success. 75% of the production went into the first wine. Harvest September 4 to October 1, a full five weeks. Their final yield here was around 37hl/ha, (higher than in 2019 at Figeac, which was 34hl/ha). As with on the Left Bank, the Cabernet Sauvignons were the lowest yield (30hl/ha), with tiny berries so had to be careful with the extraction. First vintage in the new cellars. Drinking Window 2029 - 2046. 96 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine------"A super-classic wine, the 2020 Figeac sizzles with vertical energy. The château has made a number of tremendous wines in recent vintages, but I don't remember a Figeac with this much saline-drenched intensity and mineral drive. The 2020 is superb, but it won't be ready to drink anytime soon. The mixture of soil types and varieties, with the high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, that is such a signature here, was a huge help in maintaining balance and energy in the wine. Technical Director Frédéric Faye certainly seems to have gotten the most out of the vintage. 95-97 points" Antonio Galloni,"I loved the 2020 Château Figeac, and this beauty offers everything you could want from this site, revealing a dense purple/ruby color to go with gorgeous notes of cassis, tobacco, sappy herbs, and spring flowers as well as an almost Pauillac lead pencil note that develops with time in the glass. A blend of 37% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc, and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, it's full-bodied and has perfect balance, ultra-fine tannins, and a great, great finish. It brings ample power yet has a weightless elegance and riveting precision reminiscent of the 2016. Don't miss it. 96-98 points""The 2020 Figeac was picked from September 4 to October 1 and underwent vinification free of SO2. Deep purple in color, it is initially backward and sultry on the nose, necessitating 60 minutes before it really opens. It then reveals intense scents of cranberry, raspberry and touches of cassis intermingling with white pepper. Given that the Cabernets comprise 63% of the blend, this has a typical Left Bank personality but with Right Bank precocity. The palate conveys a sense of vibrancy and vigor on the entry, a dash of black pepper and allspice mingling with the mélange of red and black fruit. The tannins are satin-like in texture, and there’s dark berry fruit and hints of pencil lead and black truffle shavings toward the Pomerol-like finish. This is a magnificent Figeac from head winemaker Frédéric Faye and his team. This sample really came into its own 2–3 hours after opening. 96-98 points" Neal Martin,"The 2020 Figeac is a blend of 37% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, weighing in with an alcohol of 13.9% and a pH of 3.7. Opaque purple-black colored, it bursts from the glass with a beautifully vibrant initial wave of pure, pristine black fruits: fresh black cherries, juicy black plums and ripe blackcurrants. With swirling, a whole array of floral and spice notes is unleashed: lavender, ground cloves, cumin seed, cardamom and rose oil. The medium-bodied palate is surprisingly graceful for the intensity of aromas, featuring ethereal, perfumed black berry notes, framed by a seamless line of freshness and ripe, grainy tannins, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note. Far more cerebral and quietly introspective than it is hedonic, this could only be Figeac. 96-98+ points" Lisa Perotti-Brown,"This is a really sophisticated young wine with tobacco, crushed stone, currants and dark chocolate on the nose, following through to a medium to full body with intense yet linear tannins and a spicy, fresh finish. Some cloves and black pepper. Graphite at the end. Very long. 37% merlot, 32% cabernet franc and 31% cabernet sauvignon. 97-98 points"

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