Ch Figeac 1er Grand Cru Classé St Emilion 2017
This was a high profile casualty of the April frost, which affected 70% of the property. But with a ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ attitude, the team at Figeac threw the kitchen sink at 2017, and have emerged victorious. Drones and precision viticulture were used to map the 25,000 plants, allowing them to distinguish when vines were ready for picking. This method saw the team of vendangeurs make up to three passes in certain parcels. As a result the estate has made just under half the volume of Grand Vin compared to 2016. What they have made is magical. It has a lower proportion of Cabernet Franc than usual (10%), with 43% Merlot, and 47% Cabernet Sauvignon. The colour is dark with a black cherry rim foretelling its kirsch aroma. The palate is focused and fresh, with minty length. It is less opulent in style than the 2015 or 2016, but the texture of its tannins is impeccable. It is a powerful, meaty style, with plenty of Cabernet guts. A triumph.
The 2017 Figeac was picked from 7 September to 3 October at 22hl/ha (average across frosted and non-frosted parcels) with 13.5° alcohol. It has a deep purple hue. The bouquet is very well defined, quite strict at first with well-behaved blackberry, raspberry, pressed rose petals and just a touch of violet. The palate is medium-bodied with a fine backbone, fresh in the mouth with a sense of energy, quite precise and linear with a pinch of spice towards the finish, a little graphite lingering on the aftertaste. This is unapologetically classic in style and whilst it might be over-shadowed by the sensational 2015 and 2016 Figeac, this is an impressive follow-up to that might pair that has really put Figeac back on the map. 2023 - 2045
The 2017 Figeac is composed of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Very deep garnet-purple in color, the nose sings of Cabernet Sauvignon—bright crushed black currants, blackberries and wild blueberries with wafts of lilacs, pencil shavings, tobacco, tilled earth plus a hint of bay leaves. The medium-bodied mouth is fine, elegant, minerally and incredibly vivacious with tons of energy. Bright and refreshing with firm, grainy tannins and a provocative hint of chew, it finishes with great length. This should age wonderfully. 100% new oak was used for this sample and it is very well-integrated.
Deep cherry red with lots of purple. Lifted and fragrant. Finely and intensely scented. This is very fine: pure and precise, some red fruit on the palate. Succulent, juicy, scented on the palate too. Silky, charming, mouth-watering. So succulent, so precise, unforced. (JH) 13.5% Drink 2025-2040
This is a dense and layered red with blackberries, blueberries and hints of hazelnuts. Full-bodied, very tight and focused. Impressive young tannins. Velvety texture. Very pretty to taste. Juicy and delicious. 43% merlot, 47% caberent sauvignon and 10% cabernet franc. Less franc than normal due to the frost.