Peter Maude Fine Wines

2018, Château Figeac, SAINT-ÉMILION

$534

Bordeaux Blend: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc.

The 2018 Figeac is a regal, aristocratic Saint-Émilion. Vertical in feel, Figeac possesses stunning energy and vibrancy right out of the gate. Dark cherry, plum, mocha, liquorice, rose petal and spice all open with a bit of coaxing. Figeac is a bit restrained today, but it won't be an issue in another few years' time. Figeac is not an obvious wine, but it is superb. 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous (2021).

The 2018 Figeac continues to not put a toe, let alone a foot, wrong under head winemaker Frédéric Faye. The bottle is closed initially, and in fact it was only the following morning that it began to unfold and reveal its true character. Quintessential Figeac on the nose, it offers blackberry, briar, pencil shavings courtesy of the Cabernet Sauvignon, and touch of terracotta. Beautifully defined, and has soaked up the 100% new oak. Lithe tannins render this more approachable than the Figeacs of yesteryear, yet it maintains the same DNA. Elegant and refined, it gently fans out with pure, slightly tertiary black fruit and traces of clove and bay leaf. To quote my conclusion from barrel, it is still "cool, calm and collected" on the finish. Divine. 97 Neal Martin, Vinous (2021).

I loved this en primeur, and it absolutely lives up to billing now that it is in bottle. It has put on a little weight through the mid palate, closed down further as you would expect at this point, but retains all the depth and texture of the black fruits, with the 2016 but there is a juicier, more succulent quality to the finish than the 2016 had at this stage, and I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be even better. Harvest ran from 17th September to 12th October, giving a yield of 39 hl/ha (with 70% organic farming, 30% bio-control). 65% of the crop went into the grand vin. 3.7pH. 98 Jane Anson, Decanter.

This still exudes the freshness and exuberance that the wine had during the primeur stage with its scents of blackcurrant, raspberry, and crushed strawberry along with a delicate floral touch. The new oak is perfectly integrated while imparting a subtle smoky note. The attack is surprisingly creamy, announcing a full-bodied texture wrapped around perfectly polished tannins allied with fine-judged acidity that together provide thrust leading to a finish that is intense yet light-footed and infused with freshness. This is a truly remarkable wine that will surely develop an even more velvety mouthfeel in years to come. Bravo. 100 Yohan Castaing, Decanter. 

The 2018 Figeac is composed of 37% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc, with a 3.7 pH and 14% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple in colour, it soars out of the glass with opening notes of freshly crushed red and black cherries, mulberries and ripe, juicy plums, followed by hints of violets, damp soil, cedar chest, crushed rocks and pencil shavings. The medium-bodied, elegantly styled palate features bags of freshness and exquisitely ripe, beautifully poised tannins to support the bright, energetic black and red fruit layers, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note. This is absolutely recognisable as being cut from the same cloth as old-school Figeac, but all the recent vineyard and winemaking improvements have unveiled the beautifully ripe, intense, nuanced potential here. Bravo to managing director/winemaker Frédéric Faye and his team! Although there is a lot to love about this wine right now, give it 5-6 years for the oak to fully integrate and the underlying perfume suggestions to emerge, then enjoy over the next 20-25 years or more. 97+ Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate.

Drinking Window: 2028 - 2058

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