Figeac 2017

RegionBordeaux
SubregionSt Emilion
ColourRed
TypeStill

One of the great names and terroirs of Saint Emilion whose wines exude class and sophistication rather than raw power. There has been some serious improvements here recently under winemaker Frédéric Faye. Michel Rolland has been brought in to consult - but not to change the unique Figeac style. Modern techniques such as vibrating sorting tables, de-stemming and an optical laser sorting line are being used, as well as 100% new oak barrels from 7 different coopers. As a consequence, the wines produced now seem a little riper and more polished than before but are still fine, pure and classic. Unusually for the right bank there is only 30% Merlot in the vineyard with 35% Cabernet Franc and - rare on the right bank - 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. Valmy Nicolas from La Conseillante has been brought in to sort out the commercial side. A sizeable part of production is relegated to the second label - Petit Figeac. After two stunning vintages in 2015 and 2016 Figeac is one of the hottest properties in Bordeaux.


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Tasting Notes

Because of frost, Figeac's production is down by 50% in 2017. The Cabernet Franc was particularly badly hit so the final blend is 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Yield was 22 hl/ha and alcohol 13.5 degrees. Picked 7th September to 3rd October and to be aged in 100% new oak from 5 different coopers. Such great purity on the nose here, with a uniquely Figeac aromatic profile - graphite, cassis, liquorice, camphor and just a hint of forest floor. The palate is surprisingly succulent and yielding, with the tannins very refined and polished for the level of Cabernet in the blend. Fresh acidity lifts the black fruits into a perfumed freshness that is intense and ethereal. Precision and focus tightens the palate through to the finish which is very long, pure, cedary and yet ripe. Another excellent wine from a Chateau that is increasingly one of the standouts each year.

Score: 17+Farr Vintners, April 2018

The 2017 Figeac was picked from 7 September to 3 October at 22hl/ha (average across frosted and non-frosted parcels) with 13.5° alcohol. It has a deep purple hue. The bouquet is very well defined, quite strict at first with well-behaved blackberry, raspberry, pressed rose petals and just a touch of violet. The palate is medium-bodied with a fine backbone, fresh in the mouth with a sense of energy, quite precise and linear with a pinch of spice towards the finish, a little graphite lingering on the aftertaste. This is unapologetically classic in style and whilst it might be over-shadowed by the sensational 2015 and 2016 Figeac, this is an impressive follow-up to that might pair that has really put Figeac back on the map. Drink 2023 - 2045.

Score: 93/95Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2018

This is a dense and layered red with blackberries, blueberries and hints of hazelnuts. Full-bodied, very tight and focused. Impressive young tannins. Velvety texture. Very pretty to taste. Juicy and delicious. 43% merlot, 47% caberent sauvignon and 10% cabernet franc. Less franc than normal due to the frost.

Score: 95/96James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2018

The 2017 Figeac is magnificent. Beautifully layered and exquisite in the glass, the 2017 possesses remarkable balance and harmony from the very first taste. An utterly beguiling, captivating wine, the 2017 simply has it all. Bright, red-toned fruit, mint, spice, lavender and rose petal overtones flesh out in the glass, but above all else, Figeac is a wine of total harmony. The Grand Vin includes 10% second generation fruit. Even so, production is down around 50%.

Score: 94/97Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2018

The 2017 Figeac is composed of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Very deep garnet-purple in color, the nose sings of Cabernet Sauvignon—bright crushed black currants, blackberries and wild blueberries with wafts of lilacs, pencil shavings, tobacco, tilled earth plus a hint of bay leaves. The medium-bodied mouth is fine, elegant, minerally and incredibly vivacious with tons of energy. Bright and refreshing with firm, grainy tannins and a provocative hint of chew, it finishes with great length. This should age wonderfully. 100% new oak was used for this sample and it is very well-integrated.

Score: 94/96Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018

Deep cherry red with lots of purple. Lifted and fragrant. Finely and intensely scented. This is very fine: pure and precise, some red fruit on the palate. Succulent, juicy, scented on the palate too. Silky, charming, mouth-watering. So succulent, so precise, unforced.
Drink 2025-2040

Score: 18.5Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2018

Floral and fragrant the nose has lots of charm the start of the palate bright the mid palate packed with ripe fruit supple and rich the tannins fine and integrated. Sweet at the back the finish is slightly lighter with fragrant length. 2025-41

Score: 93/96Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2018

The aromatics here are highly appealing, the well-weighted cassis fruit with touches of woodsmoke scents reflecting the clean black fruits on the attack, delivered with a sense of precision. The fruit is a little below the exceptional quality of the last few years, but 2015 and 2016 were just such sensational wines here, and this was a far trickier vintage. The austerity needs time to soften, opening up in the glass but lacking the floral signature of the estate, perhaps due to low Cabernet Franc levels - Figeac lost 55% of the crop to frost, hitting the Cabernet Franc particularly hard, which is why this vintage has the lowest Cabernet Franc on record at the estate. They have done an excellent job of not over-extracting, and it has a gentle depth of bramble fruit, menthol and eucalyptus that unrolls with some minerality. The last plots came in on 3 October, but they often went through the same plot several times to wait for full ripeness, and only around 10% of second generation fruit made it into the final wine. 50% of overall production will make Figeac in 2017, equating to perhaps 48,000 bottles. Yield 22hl/ha. This is an excellent wine, but lacks a little of the Figeac signature that has been so brilliantly developed over the past few years.
Drinking Window 2026 - 2040

Score: 93Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2018

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.