|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > St Emilion|
One of the great names and terroirs of Saint Emilion whose wines exude class and sophistication rather than raw power. There have been some serious improvements here recently under winemaker Frédéric Faye. 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. A sizeable part of production is relegated to the second label - Petit Figeac. Stunning wines in recent vintages make Figeac one of the hottest properties in Bordeaux. An incredible new winery was completed here in 2021 and - at last - Figeac was promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classe "A" first growth status.
2022 was the earliest harvest ever at Figeac. The vines were picked from the 1st to the 26th of September. There was no de-leafing this year and no hydric stress. Extraction was cooler and softer than usual. The optimal ripeness of all three varieties means that it was possible to make a classic Figeac blend - so this is 35% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon. 14 degrees alcohol.
A blend of 35% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2022 Figeac is a brilliant wine with which to celebrate this property's elevation to Premier Grand Cru Classé "A" status. Wafting from the glass with aromas of raspberries and cassis mingled with notions of iris, forest floor, cigar wrapper and pencil lead, it's medium to full-bodied, pure and perfumed, with a deep and multidimensional core of fruit, bright acids and beautifully refined tannins. Serious yet civilized, it's the quintessential Figeac, testament to the late Thierry Manoncourt's vision to plant such a large proportion of Cabernet, and on drought-resistant rootstocks. Such is the inherent complexity of Figeac's terroirs that harvest took place sub-block by sub-block between September 1st and 25th. Congratulations are in order for the Manoncourt family, director Frédéric Faye, consulting winemaker Thomas Duclos and all their team.
The 2022 Figeac was picked between 1-26 September with the pH of 3.7 and 14% alcohol. This wine combines both Left Bank and Right Bank traits due to its blend (as usual), but this year leans more to the Right Bank despite a slightly lower contribution of Cabernet Sauvignon. It is very well defined, fresh and shows lively black fruit, incense and nuanced Chinese tea aromas. The palate is beautifully balanced with a lightly spiced entry, fine depth and with plenty of concentration counterbalanced by finesse toward the graphite-infused finish. Its saline aftertaste beckons you back for another sip. An appropriate way to start your tenure as a Grand Cru Classé "A". 2032-2070
Deep purple in colour. Pure blackcurrant and dark cherry meld with menthol and accents of rosemary on the nose. This is a wine of high precision, Figeac is known for its edginess and though there is no sign of the green notes that used to mark this wine, it has an energy and vibrancy synonymous with the estate. These cool, dark fruits are laced with quite sweet, opulent oak spice. Dried herbs and undergrowth pull back the savoury notes to the wine, which has serious grip and structure. Tightening to the finish, this is a very promising young wine that should age beautifully over many decades.
This is the earliest ever harvest for Figeac and the fruit is something else. Flowers such as violets. Blackberries. Currants. Cherry blossom. Full-bodied with lovely freshness and depth. Crunchy and juicy. Perfect al dente fruit. 35% merlot , 34% cabernet franc and 31% cabernet sauvignon.
A blend of 35% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc, and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2022 Figeac is deep garnet-purple in color. It rolls out of the glass with eager-to-please scents of juicy blackberries, plum preserves, and warm cassis, followed by hints of cardamom, chocolate mint, and cumin seed with fragrant wafts of rose oil and violets. The concentrated, medium to full-bodied palate is simply electric, shimmering with red and black fruit layers and loads of mineral and floral sparks, framed by firm, grainy tannins and amazing tension, finishing very long and energetic. This is so vibrant it tingles on the palate! pH 3.70.
Vibrant damson in colour, edges of gunsmoke and red rose petals on the aromatics, as you so often find in Figeac, with dense cassis, black cherry, incense, graphite, slate, mint leaf, cocoa bean, cappucino and liquorice on the palate. This is creamy but airy, and full of joy. Close to the 2016 vintage in its construction and effortless confidence, no question of the ageing ability of this wine, and a fine vintage to mark the first year as Premier Grand Cru Classé A. Breaking down how they got here, you find inevitably careful winemaking with no pumping over, cool 26C for fermentation, making use of techniques learnt in the hot, dry summer of 2018, from cover crops to minimum green harvesting. Blend finished including 8% press in March, 3.7ph, harvest began September 1, earliest on record, until 26, second vintage in new winery. Frederic Faye director.
35% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cask sample.
A signature Figeac, the Cabernet coming through on the nose and palate. Floral, cassis and graphite notes. Plenty of energy, the fruit juicy and rich but not excessive. Ripe, abundant tannins behind. Long, persistent finish. Just a hint of oak in the background. (JL) 14%
Drink 2032– 2050
An incredibly impressive wine in 2022 shaping up to be the wine of the vintage not only as it seems to defy the hot and dry conditions in every way but delivers such confidence and charm it makes it hard to resist. Gorgeous aromatic expression on the nose, open and alive, generous scents of bright bramble fruit and floral notes as well as graphite and cedar. Smooth, supple and generous on the palate, tannins are silky and perfectly weighted giving roundness but also structure with a red berry juiciness and saline bite that is so compelling. Vibrant, dynamic, balanced and precise, the energy is outstanding yet there’s still depth, weight and power underneath. There's not a single thing out of place - utterly seductive and totally moreish. A great effort from the estate now proudly displaying their upgrade to St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé A for the first time as of the new classification. 3.7pH. 8% press wine. 82% grand vin production. Harvest 1 - 26 September, the earliest ever.