1990 Chateau Figeac, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Bottle (750ml) [Top Shoulder] DR96/RP94
1990 Chateau Figeac, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Bottle (750ml) DR96/RP94

Château-Figeac – Tradition, Innovation & Sustainability

Located on the Right-Bank of the Bordeaux region, the beautiful Saint-Émilion Château Figeac is not just a winery; it's a living legacy that has been intricately woven into the fabric of the region for nearly 130 years. Acquired by the Manoncourt family in 1892, this historic property has evolved under their stewardship, marked by a rich history, visionary leadership, and an unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability.

The Visionary Legacy of Thierry Manoncourt

The 20th century saw the emergence of Thierry Manoncourt as the driving force behind Château Figeac's transformation. Known as the "Pharaoh of Saint-Émilion," Thierry, an agricultural engineer, assumed control in 1947 and dedicated over six decades to shaping the estate's identity. His innovative approach, termed the "Figeac style," combined a forward-thinking perspective on winemaking with a profound respect for the environment.

Thierry Manoncourt's pioneering spirit extended beyond the vineyards. As the First Jurat of Saint-Émilion for twenty-three years and an Officer of the Legion of Honor, he played a pivotal role in co-creating the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, contributing significantly to the global recognition of Bordeaux wines.

Continuity in Leadership

Today, Château Figeac continues its journey under the leadership of Madame Marie-France Manoncourt, along with her daughters Hortense Idoine Manoncourt and Blandine de Brier Manoncourt. Thierry's legacy is preserved not only in the quality of the wines but also in the family's unwavering commitment to the estate. Frédéric Faye, the current general manager and winemaker, carries forward the mantle of excellence that Thierry established.

A Label that Transcends Time

The visual identity of Château Figeac is as unique as its wines. The label, created by Thierry Manoncourt's uncle, Robert Villepigue, for the 1906 vintage, defies convention. Eschewing classic engravings, it boldly showcases the handwritten name of Château Figeac underlined with a mischievous red, accompanied by the family coat of arms and Thierry's signature. This one-of-a-kind label is a testament to Figeac's deliberate departure from pre-established norms. The Design of the label has continued to live on to this day, with its original red, gold and bold lettering still represented on the current vintages.

Chateau Figeac: The Wine

JD100 "A hold onto your hat wine, the 2015 Château Figeac is pure perfection and one of the wines of this terrific vintage. A blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc, its deep purple color is followed by a huge nose of crème de cassis, black raspberries, smoked earth, and graphite. This is followed by a full-bodied, opulent and incredibly concentrated Saint-Emilion that has everything in the right places, no hard edges, thrilling purity of fruit, and a great, great finish. This is one of those rare gems that carries huge intensity and richness, yet still glides across the palate with no sense of weight or heaviness. Winemaker Frédéric Faye thinks the 2016 is even better but that certainly isn’t stopping me from giving this crazy good wine a triple digit score. Everyone owes it to themselves to try and taste this wine at least once!" Jeb Dunnuck Nov 2017

The Château itself describes their wines as following:

“Figeac murmurs like the most outstanding voice of its appellation, with exactly the right tessitura if you know how to pitch it, and a touch of graphite to give it an edge; the energy infused with elegance becomes persistent, reflecting Figeac’s desire to be enjoyed again and again. The true dimension of the wines appears with time, as notes subtly spiced cedarwood offer the absolute quintessence of what a great wine is all about.”

Aging Potential

The aging potential of Château Figeac wines is particularly noteworthy, especially for the estate's Grand Vin, the flagship wine. Connoisseurs often recommend cellaring Château Figeac wines for at least a decade to allow them to reach their peak. However, certain vintages have demonstrated the capability to age gracefully for over several decades, showcasing the timeless quality of these Bordeaux classics.

Figeac’s Identity – The Terroir

Château Figeac's 54-hectare vineyard, classified as "Premier Grand Cru Classé," boasts a unique terroir that sets it apart. Figeac's soil is a geological marvel, characterized by three gravelly ridges composed of quartz and flint. These ridges, several meters thick, create a distinctive foundation for the vines, contributing to the complexity and depth of the wines. Beneath the surface, blue clays in the subsoil add another layer of nuance, offering a rich tapestry for the vines to draw upon.

This geological complexity is not just a feature; it is the essence of Château Figeac's identity. The interplay of gravel, quartz, flint, and clay forms a unique terroir that imparts specific characteristics to the grapes, resulting in wines that express the very soul of the estate.

The Varietals

The artistry of Château Figeac's winemaking lies in the meticulous planting of the three grape varieties that form the backbone of its wines: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Each variety finds its ideal expression in specific plots, carefully selected to complement the terroir.

Cabernet Franc, with its elegant structure and aromatic complexity, thrives on the gravelly ridges, capturing the essence of the soil. Cabernet Sauvignon, known for its power and longevity, finds a perfect home in the sun-soaked plots, adding depth and intensity to the blend. Merlot, with its supple texture and fruity character, flourishes in selected areas, rounding out the ensemble with finesse.

Old Vines and Mass Selection

Château Figeac's commitment to preserving the genetic heritage and identity of the estate is evident in the careful management of old vines. The team actively engages in mass selection on these vines, ensuring that the essence of the terroir is passed down through generations.

The collection plot, a mere 0.65 hectares, is a testament to this dedication. Here, a selection of clones from the most remarkable vines in the three grape varieties is cultivated, preserving the authenticity and character that define Château Figeac's terroir.

A Sustainable Oasis in Saint-Émilion

Nearly a quarter of the property is intentionally left without vines to preserve the natural balance. The estate's commitment to biodiversity extends beyond the vineyards to include a vegetable garden, park, beehives, and natural areas, creating a harmonious ecosystem that reflects the family's dedication to environmental stewardship.

A Timeless Classic

Château Figeac's journey is a narrative of passion, vision, and dedication—a tale that unfolds in every bottle, inviting wine enthusiasts to savor the essence of Saint-Émilion's extraordinary heritage.

Written by: Arabella Maislinger

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