Peter Maude Fine Wines

2020, Château Figeac, SAINT-ÉMILION 1er Grand Cru Classé


Bordeaux Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot.

The 2020 Figeac is the finest wine that has been bottled to date at this estate since its renaissance began a decade ago. Wafting from the glass with aromas of blackberries and raspberries mingled with cigar wrapper, pencil shavings, liquorice and black truffles, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a suave, harmonious profile, vibrant acids, and beautifully refined structuring tannins. This sapid, complex wine represents the essence of this great terroir. Two years after extensive soil studies of the estate were carried out, and the first growing season to see cover crops used in the vineyards year-round, the 2020 benefited from more coherently demarcated parcels and more precise élevage, which taken together help to account for its edge over the excellent 2019. 100 William Kelley, Wine Advocate.

This is a really sophisticated young wine with tobacco, crushed stone, currants and dark chocolate on the nose, following through to a medium to full body with intense yet linear tannins and a spicy, fresh finish. Some cloves and black pepper. Graphite at the end. Very long. 97-98 James Suckling.

The 2020 Figeac is incredibly polished and refined. Bright saline underpinnings and lively acids shape the 2020 beautifully, lending notable energy throughout. This is the last vintage made in the transitional cellar before the new winery became operational with the 2021 vintage. My only question mark is a slightly gritty quality in the tannins that lurks beneath. There's terrific purity and drive, though. Figeac is a wine of saline tension and energy more than size. The 2020 will need a number of years in bottle to be at its best. 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.

The 2020 Figeac was bottled in mid-July. It has an exquisite bouquet that unfolds effortlessly in the glass with blackberry, crushed stone, graphite and fresh fig scents. It blossoms with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly edgy tannins on the entry that frame the pure black fruit. It's very harmonious and silky smooth in texture that almost disguises what Frédéric Faye terms the "verticality" of the wine. Fresh and saline on the finish with just a light black pepper touch on the aftertaste. An absolute treat. 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.

The 2020 Figeac is a blend of 37% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, weighing in with an alcohol of 13.9% and a pH of 3.7. Opaque purple-black coloured, it bursts from the glass with a beautifully vibrant initial wave of pure, pristine black fruits: fresh black cherries, juicy black plums and ripe blackcurrants. With swirling, a whole array of floral and spice notes is unleashed: lavender, ground cloves, cumin seed, cardamom and rose oil. The medium-bodied palate is surprisingly graceful for the intensity of aromas, featuring ethereal, perfumed black berry notes, framed by a seamless line of freshness and ripe, grainy tannins, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note. Far more cerebral and quietly introspective than it is hedonic, this could only be Figeac. 96-98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate.

This delivers concentration and intensity, a ton of black fruits, definitely Cabernet dominant in terms of fruit, and its slightly serious character, with a whoosh of juice on the finish. An extremely elegant and controlled wine, with savoury bilberry and loganberry, then peony and tobacco leaf as it opens. Tannins are finely layered but there are a lot of them. Not an exuberant Figeac, but this is rarely a wine that rushes out to seduce, it takes its time and has ageing potential in spades. The gravel soils in the drought of the summer meant the grapes slowed their ripening process, although only the youngest vines suffered blockages, and that combined with the high Cabernet content of Figeac means lower alcohols than the past few years, giving a classic balance and a feeling of effortless success. 75% of the production went into the first wine. Harvest September 4 to October 1, a full five weeks. Their final yield here was around 37hl/ha, (higher than in 2019 at Figeac, which was 34hl/ha). As with on the Left Bank, the Cabernet Sauvignons were the lowest yield (30hl/ha), with tiny berries so had to be careful with the extraction. First vintage in the new cellars. 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.

A ripe, herbal-edged nose full of Cabernet Franc perfumed florality; violets, plums, black cherries and figs. Compelling weight on the palate, this has density and drive from the first sip with tannins that are really well integrated but have more of a juicy, high-acid edge than overtly plush, with a soft chalkiness and real mineral vein - the graphite, wet stone edges giving clear terroir markers. Lots of tension here, direct and focused; you can feel the sculpting but there's lots of energy too - such liveliness underpinning the serious core and wide, firm structure. Poised, layered and complex, a lot going on with cinnamon, clove and cedar on the finish. A total knock-out where each sip gives a slightly different facet building to an impressive whole. Such is Figeac's power of seduction, this makes you want to sit with it for a while marvelling at the complexity with a smile on your face. A Figeac that you're going to have to wait for, and just have lots of the excellent Petit Figeac in the meantime! 98 Georgina Hindle, Decanter.

Drinking Window: 2030 - 2060

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