James Suckling | 99 JS
The 2016 Figeac is simply extraordinary. A wine of pure energy and vitality, the 2016 pulses with a real sense of drive. Lavender, mint, crème de cassis and cedar start to develop in the glass, but what is most remarkable about the 2016 is its total sense of harmony. There is natural tension, a sort of push and pull, between the wine’s intense fruit and structural underpinnings that makes the 2016 a marvel to taste and contemplate. It was positively stunning in two separate tastings. Technical Director Frédéric Faye and his team made an epic Figeac in 2016.
Antonio Galloni | 98+ AG
Another brilliant wine from the genius of Frédéric Faye, the 2016 Château Figeac checks in as 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that spent 19 months in new French oak. Roughly 75% of the production made it into the grand vin. This deeply colored beauty is a legendary wine in the making and offers ultra-pure aromas and flavors of crème de cassis, smoke tobacco, dried herbs, chocolate, truffle, and graphite. Showing more violets notes with time in the glass, it builds incrementally on the palate, with flawless balance as well as incredible elegance, no hard edges, and a finish that won’t quit. Readers will have a blast comparing the 2016 and 2015 vintages over the coming 3-4 decades and this estate is firing on all cylinders. This will most likely merit a triple-digit rating in 7-8 years and keep for 4 decades or more.
Jeb Dunnuck | 98+ JD
A testament to the work being undertaken at Figeac in recent years, this has depth and intensity while retaining the smile of the fruit. Richness combines with gorgeous length and intensity, every bit as impressive as it was during en primeur. Touches of violet and a silky texture precede hugely precise slate walls that pull the fruit into place through the palate. It takes its time in the glass to fully open, only slowly revealing the black olives, pungent white pepper and rosemary aromatics. Bottled in late July. 100% new oak. Drinking Window 2024 - 2045.
Decanter | 98 DEC
This aromatic wine is magnificent in its balance and richness. With its high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon (38%), it is so typical of this estate. The tannins are velvety while packing a firm punch. Dark and concentrated, it is a great wine for long-term aging.
Wine Enthusiast | 98 WE
The 2016 Figeac is comprised of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose is a little broody and reticent at this very youthful stage, slowly unfolding to reveal profound plum preserves, crème de cassis, black raspberries and star anise with hints of moss-covered bark, truffles and tilled loam plus a waft of red currants and raspberry leaves sparks. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is practically quivering with energy, offering glimpses at tightly wound black fruit and mineral/ferrous layers, framed by very firm, ripe tannins and wonderful tension, finishing long with the spices coming through. This will need a good 7-8 years to come round and then should cellar for 40+ years. Very serious, beautifully poised and sophisticated personality this vintage.
Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RP
A gutsy, fully endowed wine, brimming with dark currant, warm fig and steeped blackberry notes, as well as waves of smoldering tobacco and warm gravel. Features a serious bass line, but everything works together, while flecks of savory and iron dart in and out. Best from 2025 through 2040. 8,333 cases made.
Wine Spectator | 96 WS
Wine Details for 2016 Figeac
|Type of Wine||
: Picture in your mind a combination of cedar, lead pencil, blackcurrant, plum and mineral aromatics, and texture that caresses your palate like a playful lover. The experience is thrilling from the first whiff to the final seconds of a tannic, generous finish - that is what you'll get from a Bordeaux Red
Red Bordeaux Blend
: The inhabitants of the Bordeaux region of France have been cultivating wine-grapes for thousands of years. Ancient Roman ruins litter the vineyards from Saint Emilion to Graves where the art of blending Bordeaux varietals has been practiced and perfected over a very long history. Bordeaux’s climate, terroir and soils, though varied, provide the optimal growing conditions for the red grape varietals planted in the region.
Rarely listed on the labels as “blend,” the red wines of Bordeaux are perhaps the most artfully designed and celebrated in the world. The calculated art of blending the native Bordeaux varietals is impressively accomplished in the most famous winegrowing region in the world. The phrase Bordeaux Blend which seems to have been coined by British wine merchants in the 19th Century relates as much to wines made from the blend as to the grape variety combination itself.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and occasionally Carmenere are the lead characters in the creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. Each plays a part in their own fashion and implemented in various combinations and percentages in each appellation within Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux Blends are majorly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, roughly making up 90% of all Bordeaux Blends. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (occasionally Carmenere) are also important components and vital to the production of the region’s red wines.
For simplicity, the winegrowing region of Bordeaux can be divided into three main appellations producing Red Bordeaux Blends; the Left Bank (Medoc), Right Bank and Pessac-Leognan (Graves). The Left Bank has a terroir comprised of a wide variety of gravel, stones, sand, limestone and clay soils on a natural terrain of gentle slopes. This sets the stage perfectly for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the dominant grape of the Left Bank. For example, Chateau Lafite (Paulliac) is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Right Bank is dominated by clay and limestone with sand and gravel, but the clay in the Right Bank is distinctly its own and adds to the health, growth and vitality of the vines of the varietals grown here. Right Bank wines are typically 80% Merlot-based, which are often denser, richer and mature earlier than those of the Left Bank (with exceptions – Petrus for example). Merlot is a vital component to Pomerol winegrowing and making. Cabernet Franc also plays a major role in the Right Bank, most notably, in Saint Emilion, where the infamous vineyards of Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc are planted to 55% and 52% Cabernet Franc, respectively. Chateaux that produce wines with a majority of Cabernet Franc are considered “old school” producers, but have perfected the use of Cabernet Franc, which was originally used as a blending grape.
Pessac-Leognan (Graves) enjoys a temperate climate, natural hygrometry influenced by the ocean, and has a terroir composed of gravelly soil over a clay subsoil on sloping, hilly terrain. Natural drainage due to the hilly terrain as well as the gravelly soil structure are perfectly attuned to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape vine, which prospers under these conditions. Pessac reaps the benefits of having the terroir of both the Left and Right Bank as it contains gravel and clay. The clay sub-soil allows the growth and success of Merlot, as well as Cabernet Franc. It is home to the only First Growth not in the Medoc. The 50-hectare vineyard of Haut Brion is planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
The percentage of Petit Verdot and Malbec may be lesser in quantity, but not in quality. They are vital to the region’s creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. The combination of Bordeaux varietals is legendary in the region, around the world and has influenced winegrowers worldwide to plant and vinify wines which resemble those of Red Bordeaux Blends.
: Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.
For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.
France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.
France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.
: Even among the greatest and most reputable wine regions on the planet, Bordeaux stands above the rest. The winemakers of this region have a single-minded dedication to the fine art of viticulture and their efforts never fail to show. If you consider yourself a fine wine enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to visit Bordeaux - life changing. Whether you wish to drink some inspirational and gripping wine as soon as possible, or you want to add some masterpieces to your collection, no region on Earth is a more obvious choice.
The noble and beautiful Garonne and Dordogne rivers surge through southwestern France, enriching the soil in a way very few other places can boast. The limestone-based earth is rich in calcium, and the almost oceanic climate conditions give the staple Bordeaux grape varietals vigor and flavor like nowhere else. For their illustrious reds, Bordeaux winemakers rely on a proven combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Meanwhile, a sip of their excellent white wine hints at the use of Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc.Each of these varietals carries a unique identity, making every quality wine a character piece to rival Citizen Kane. It can be incredibly hard to choose only a few wines to collect for your cellar!
: The Grand Cru Classe Chateau Figeac is an ancient Bordeaux vineyard in Saint Emilion with a history as rich and powerful as the wine produced at its historic estate. With origins dating back to the Gallo-Roman time period, this illustrious property has witnessed much, including multiple transactions, World Wars and the evolution of winemaking in the Right Bank. In the last 2,000 years, it is one of the few St. Emilion vineyards that has remained continually occupied.
Even today, the property bears witness to its historical significance as traces of the past remain; from a water supply system dating back to the days of the ancient Romans, to the defensive walls meant for protection during the Middle Ages. Throughout history, Saint Emilion has consistently been recognized as a productive appellation with some of the best terroir in all Bordeaux. The wines produced were of incredible quality and highly coveted. Figeac certainly played a part as it was one of the largest properties and was constantly being broken off piece by piece and thus creating an area with many tremendous wine growing estates. Chateau Cheval Blanc itself was carved from the original Figeac vineyard.
The historical success of Chateau Figeac can largely be credited to its exceptional terroir. A complex soil combination of Gunzian gravel and blue clay, with a unique micro-climate allows the varieties of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to excel here. This soil structure is very much different to that of its Saint Emilion neighbors and is expressed through its unique character. The vines, which vary in age with some over 100 years old, are grown on three separate gravel ridged parcels that reach 38 meters in elevation.
There is a large emphasis on symbiosis between nature and human effort, lending to its unique, bold character that is evident in its structure. The terroir is allowed to be expressed through each bottle which boasts its ancient origins and its continuous production of wines from a property that helped develop Saint Emilion into the prosperous wine growing location that it is today.
Figeac debuted a second wine in 1945 and became the first right bank property to do so, adding to its historical achievements. It was called La Grange Neuve de Figeac but was renamed Petit Figeac in 2013. Between the flagship and its second wine, Chateau Figeac produces close to 10,000 cases per year. When the wines of Figeac are purchased, consumed or added to cellars, it is not just a wine, but a piece of history. A history dating back 2,000 years which was instrumental and influential not only in Saint Emilion, but in all of Right Bank Bordeaux.