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Figeac 2017

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > St Emilion
Grape VarietyMerlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon

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.

View all vintages of this wine | View all wines by Château Figeac


Tasting Notes

The 2017 Figeac is outrageously beautiful. Rich, deep and ample, the 2017 soars out of the glass with vertical intensity and explosive power. The flavors are just pulsing with energy. Time in the glass brings out a captivating range of lavender, spice, mint and rose petal overtones. The 2017 Figeac is a towering achievement from Technical Director Frédéric Faye and his team. When Michel Rolland was appointed consulting winemaker some years back, many feared the personality of Figeac would be lost. It is impossible for an outsider to truly know how small or large the impact of a single person is, but Figeac has indisputably been one of the very finest wines of the Right Bank over these last few years. The 2017 is a real "wow" wine; don't miss it. 2027 - 2047

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, March 2020

"2017 was the frost year, and we were hit hard," said managing director Frederic Faye. "We marked the vines and picked with many passes through the vineyard. We made just over 50,000 bottles in the end, about half our normal production." A blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc, the 2017 Figeac is deep garnet-purple colored. It breezes out of the glass with perfumed scents of lilacs, juicy black cherries, and blackcurrant pastilles, plus suggestions of underbrush, incense, truffles, and potpourri. Medium-bodied, elegant, and refreshing, the palate has soft, skillfully managed tannins and a lively backbone, finishing long and fragrant.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, May 2022

Tasted blind. Deep ruby. Deep and dark berry fruit on the nose. Explosive berry fruit on the palate, a real burst of energy. Whilst fleshy it is also vibrant, pure in red-cherry and dark-plum fruit quality. The tannins are mouth-coating and ripe, providing ample structure against the core. The oak is subtle, beautifully integrated into the fruit. An outstanding example of transparency for what the vintage can offer.
Drink 2027 – 2045

Thomas Parker MW, JancisRobinson.com, October 2021

Blackberries and violets with lots of perfume. Some roses, too. Full body. Very structured for this vintage with tight, lightly chewy tannins and a long, long finish. Creamy texture. Excellent density in the center palate. Try after 2023.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, January 2020

A frost year giving an atypical blend with extremely low Cabernget Franc. Heavy smoke aromatics on the opening beats, with firm tannins at this point, concentrated keeping everything in line. Holds its core and it opens in waves of cassis, bilberry, campfire, rose stem and tobacco leaf. Mouthwatering slate finish. Harvest September 7 to October 3, 100% new oak for ageing.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, March 2022

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

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2018

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.

Farr Vintners, 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

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2018
Read more tasting notes...

Production was down by half this year—only producing 55,000 bottles. Made from 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Figeac gives up expressive notes of black cherries, plum preserves, black raspberries and kirsch, giving way to hints of dried leaves, cinnamon toast and warm cassis plus a waft of lavender. Medium-bodied, the palate has wonderful vibrancy with a refreshing line cutting through the crunchy black fruits and a firm, finely grained frame, finishing long and spicy. Drink 2023-2050.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (March 2020), March 2020

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.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 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.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), 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

Jane 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.