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2020 Figeac

2020 Figeac

100 RP

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Critic Reviews

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.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | (96-98)+ RP
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.

Jeb Dunnuck | 96-98 JD
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.

James Suckling | 97-98 JS
Fantastic black currant aromas from the Cabernet Sauvignon feed into perfumed Cabernet Franc. The result is a wine that is structured with powerful tannins under the joyous floral fruits. This is a wine with considerable potential while at the same time showing a fresh finish.

Wine Enthusiast | 98 WE
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.

Vinous Media | 95-97 VM
(Château Figeac, St-Émilion, Bordeaux, France, Red) 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. (Drink between 2029-2046)

Decanter | 96 DEC

Wine Details for 2020 Figeac

Type of Wine Bordeaux Red : 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
Varietal 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.

Country France : 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.


Region Bordeaux : 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!
Subregion Right Bank
Appellation Saint Emilion

Overview

Producer Chateau Figeac : 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.

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