Wine Words & Video Tape

Wine, Words and Videotape

Fine Wine Review site

Château Figeac


Address: 33330 St Emilion

Telephone: +33 (0)5 57 24 72 26



Château Figeac is situated on three gravelly outcrops which favour the Cabernet vines [Sauvignon and Franc) over Merlot. This makes the wine usually a bit more subdued in early stage tastings as Cabernet is not so up-front and flattering as Merlot. Nevertheless this property makes wonderfully fine St Emilion which, given the Cabernet component, also ages well. Real nobility to the wine. Thierry Manoncourt who, with his wife Marie-France built up the great reputation of the estate died in 2010. Michel Rolland has been advising since the 2013 vintage. Increased volume in 2014 and simply brilliant wine here in 2015.

Vineyard/Terroir: 40 hectares planted with 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc and 30% Merlot on three gravel rises. Estate classified as a Premier Grand Cru Classe.

Winemaking/Elevage: Aged in 100% new oak.

Tasting notes:

  • 2015 Lovely depth of colour; deep at centre but very healthy looking; colour tight to rim; lovely pure blackcurrant aromatics; really great; this has great clarity; minerality; depth on the nose; lovely stuff; great entry; pure fruit; focused layers; great acidity; lovely composure and elegance; really nicely balanced. Terrific effort for me [a lover of the left bank!]. Cool [in the fashionable sense but also in the modesty – but impeccable effort]. Best wine at Figeac since 2009? [43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc, 14% alc, 41hl/ha, pH 3.75]. Drink 2023-2040. 96-98+
  • 2014 Lovely fresh looking colour; bold; very pure; lovely blackcurrant aromatics; beautiful perfume; layered; quite exceptional; cool entry; nicely proportional; plenty of extract and matter but nicely polished; will flesh out further; intriguing wine; excellent balance; supple tannins on the finish. Excellent Figeac. Impressive. [40% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 100% new oak pH 3.7, 13% alc, yield 33hl/ha]. Drink 2020-2035. 93-95
  • 2013 Deep and dark; earthy purple at rim; cool blackcurrant aromatics; attractive; no green qualities here; palate has elegance and finesse; needs to fill out – which it will. [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc]. Tasted April 2, 2014 UGC. Drink 2018-2030. 89-91+
  • 2012 Mid depth; lovely Cabernet aromatics with Merlot plushness; this is a beauty on the nose; elegant palate with creamy tones; very polished and nicely done; intensity to the fruit and length on the palate shows genuine class. [40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc.]. Drink 2016-2027. 93+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; healthy looking; polished nose; nice Cab on the nose; nothing feels green here; feels polished; palate initially fine; some stalky Cab; quite fine and will fill out. Elegant. Maybe a little angularity at the back. 40% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc 89-91 [Second tasting – much better note] Mid depth; healthy looking; lots of blackcurrant fruit and cream on the nose; much more enticing than earlier sample; purity; palate quite lush [a little more Merlot than usual in the blend]; nice balance on the palate with grip at the end but harmonious. 91-93 UGC Wednesday April 10, 2013
  • 2011 Pretty saturated looking; fresh purple at edge; nice freshness to the nose; polish and refinement; red fruits but nice layers – more red fruits than usual at this stage; feels ripe and appealing; nice blackcurrant note on the palate with grip and chew. This will settle. Fine. 33% Cabernet Sauvignon 33% Cabernet Franc and 33% Merlot. Tasted UGC 4/5/12 90-92 [Second] Saturated; some graphite, blackcurrant, cassis and cooler tones, Cabernet Franc? Measured palate but powerful; minerals; some perfume – feels very fine; nice entry, depth, reasonable harmony; some cherry and dark chocolate notes; some chew at the back. Spicy. Lacks a little focus at the back. Tasted blind at Groupement de Premiers Grands Crus Classes de Saint-Emilion at Chateau Canon 6/4/12. 90-92
  • 2010 Deeply coloured; fine nose with blackcurrants and an attractive core of vibrant fruit; creamy blackcurrants on the palate; good depth; attractive with very good [refreshing] grip. Very positive overall in a room full of wines sometimes lacking in freshness. Drink 2016-2035. 94+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; fresher, blackcurrants, really pure seam of fruit here, earthy edge; dark cherry; excellent purity here. Pure palate again, fresh Cabernet [Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon] notes; minerality; some dryness here but plenty of fruit. Grip and sap on the finish. Chewy. Shutting down a bit but still extremely promising. No use in hiding it, I’m a great fan of Figeac. 94+ UGC Oct ’12  [Earlier] Deep and dense; legs; very attractive nose; seductive, rich and intense, very tight but intense black fruits and very deep; rich palate and real intensity and precision here; needs time but nicely done. Tannic and long haul but nice acid and grip at the end. This really is a lovely wine. Hands down the best St Emillion shown at the UGC 94-96+/100 [33% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon 13.9 alc] 6 April 2011 UGC  [Second] Deep and dark; saturated colour; ripe and pure; seductive with a whiff of violets; very classy nose; lovely freshness suggests Cabernet [Figeac?]; extremely classy and wonderful. Very glossy and classy palate; rich and ripe; really layered with perfume. Terrific wine. Complexity and fragrance. Great length and extremely fine. One of the wines of the vintage to my mind. 96-98+/100 Tasted April 6 Groupement de Premiers Grands Crus Classes de Saint-Emilion.
  • 2009 Nice depth; ripe and dense looking, glossy too; wonderful Cabernet nose [Franc and Sauvignon]; some lift; blackcurrants, ripe and to me extremely attractive; very fine and classy palate and wonderfully polished; palate extremely long with grip and density. This is great wine that will appeal much to those with a penchant for the left bank as opposed to the right. Perfectly ripe wine but with that freshness which is essential. Easily one of the wines of the tasting. 97+/100 UGC Oct 2011 [Earlier] Mid depth; ripe, little reductive quality to nose; needs to settle; palate quite fine and structured and intense. Tannins softer here, less extracted style which is something of a relief. A strongly Cabernet based wine this hence the quality in 2009. It needs time to meld but potentially very fine. 92+/100
  • 2008 Dense wine, close to rim; fresh and quite complete nose with some mint and blackcurrant alongside oak; feels quite serious and considerable on the nose; some density and some chocolate. Good palate which is quite intense and quite dense! Lots of tannin here too but has depth. Certainly needs time and reflects the high proportion of Cabernet in the blend.  Good but tannic and long haul. 90+/100 UGC Oct ‘11
  • 2007 Deepish; freshness on the nose; leaf and tobacco; attractive and quite forward style on the nose; grip on the palate; lots of peat and earth; some harmony here and not at all forced – in keeping with the vintage. Lightish but has harmony and digestibility. 88/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid red; nice attractive nose with some tobacco, leaf and creamy notes; also mocha and espresso; good; palate has good structure; and maybe a fraction short but rather good. Sturdy. 88/100 UGC tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Very dense and dark up to the edge; lots of layers and extract here, quite dense; attractive leafy, tobacco note [the Cab Franc?]; attractive nose; palate of roses and strawberry fruit with some Cabernet elements; actually pretty dense and long term, excellent length too. This is potentially excellent but needs more time. 90-92+/100 MW Institute Nov ’10.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Follow Us