Heading west away from the town of St Emilion, en route for Libourne, the huge extent of the ancient Figeac seigneurie becomes apparent. To one side, on the right, admittedly set well back from the road and hidden from view behind the trees, is Château Figeac, and beyond that there are the vineyards of Château La Tour du Pin Figeac (the Giraud-Bélivier section) as well as its now extinct twin of the same name, which belonged to the Moueix family. This latter estate was purchased by LVMH and briefly rechristened Château La Tour du Pin, before it was eventually culled, the vineyards mostly replanted to Sauvignon Blanc and utilised for the newly introduced white wine of Château Cheval Blanc. An estate which was, it has to be said, also once a part of the original Figeac seigneurie.
While it may not be immediately apparent, the old Figeac seigneurie also covered much of the land on the left-hand side of the road. The most eye-catching piece of evidence in support of this is Château Grand Barrail, a rather grandiose château which now functions as a luxury hotel (I have never stayed there obviously) and which towers over its associated vineyard, Château Grand Barrail Lamarzelle Figeac. Another often overlooked domaine which was also derived from the old Figeac estate, one even closer to the town of St Emilion, is Château Yon-Figeac.
The vineyards of Château Yon-Figeac were carved from the Figeac estate sometime after 1874. In fact at this time there appeared three new vineyards in the Yon secteur, the first of which was Yon-Figeac, which was in the hands of Monsieur Saint-Albin-Bonneval (died 1897), the husband of Louise Roulle (1833 – 1908), and they were turning out 15 tonneaux per annum from their vines. It is this vineyard that concerns us in this profile, but for the sake of completeness the other two estates which appeared at the same time were Clos Yon-Figeac, in the hands of Gustave Gurchy (1820 – 1880), producing 15 tonneaux per annum, and the succinctly named Yon, subsequently rechristened Clos Yon, which was worked by a vigneron named Manuaud. This was a somewhat smaller estate, turning out 8 tonneaux per annum.
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