Château Figeac: Tasting & Drinking

I do wonder whether extolling or critiquing the wines of Château Figeac isn’t a little akin to shouting at the wind, or trying to hold back the tide. This is a domaine that has, historically at least, divided opinion, some finding the occasional touch of phenolic greenness – perhaps more significant in older vintages than in the wines today – that came from the high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc to be an anathema, while others adored the savoury character, the darkness of it, the idea of a wine centred around cool-headed structure rather than creamy, flashy fruit as is the case with so many wines here in St Emilion. In some ways it sat at the opposite end of the spectrum to all the inky dark, over-extracted, overly alcoholic wines that seem to represent a certain mindset with regard to wine in this corner of Bordeaux (although, to be fair, this is also a less prominent feature of the appellation these days).

I suspect that this distinctive style was one reason, among many, that the property was not promoted to the very top level of the St Emilion classification in 2012. It is to the Manoncourt family’s credit that they, and Frédéric Faye of course, have pushed the quality to a level where promotion could not be denied without losing, to my mind and palate, any of the Figeac style.

Château Figeac

I have found plenty to enjoy in some vintages of Château Figeac. My notes below speak of this, through my words but also through my scores which in some vintages are very favourable. A particularly memorable bottle was the 2010 Château Figeac, tasted in a line up of wines presented at just two years of age, shortly after bottling. In the appellation I found many rich and concentrated wines as expected, as well as one or two pushed too far, wines where the fruit lost all sense of definition, becoming brown and stewed.

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