1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

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Martin Zwick
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1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#1 Post by Martin Zwick » February 10th, 2020, 2:05 am

1979 Ch. Figeac

Fabulous old-school Bordeaux. Chocolate, dark fruits, leather, balance and velvet. No fruit bomb, no alcohol bomb and no oak bomb. Pre-Parker era. Its not a jump-in-the-face wine, rather an unexcitedly wine which impresses by balance/harmony and elegance. Clearly a wine from another era.

Once upon a time……..
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#2 Post by Joshua Kates » February 10th, 2020, 4:29 am

Interesting, Martin,

I just drank an '83 of this wine this weekend. No fruit bomb either, but not a great experience; I don't think it was the best bottle.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#3 Post by Martin Zwick » February 10th, 2020, 4:38 am

Joshua Kates wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 4:29 am
Interesting, Martin,

I just drank an '83 of this wine this weekend. No fruit bomb either, but not a great experience; I don't think it was the best bottle.

Interesting Joshua,

I drank ´83 around 10 years ago and it was mind-blowing.

Fair to say that Ch. Figeac has a lot of bottle variations according to the TNs I read from cellartracker etc. On the table was a danish wine merchant he also praised the wine and Figeac in general, clearly a Figeac lover. He said that he was in a restaurant and a Figeac blown away a Ch. Petrus from the table. I forgot the vintage.

OR maybe the Figeac-style could be easily overlooked?! Its not a jump-in-the-face wine, rather an unexcitedly wine which impresses by balance/harmony and elegance.

OR I am just a blind Figeac lover.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#4 Post by Mike Ott » February 10th, 2020, 5:53 am

I have a '79 Figeac I've been sitting on and you have inspired me to open it in the next few weeks. Did you decant it or just pop and pour?

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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#5 Post by Martin Zwick » February 10th, 2020, 5:55 am

Mike Ott wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 5:53 am
I have a '79 Figeac I've been sitting on and you have inspired me to open it in the next few weeks. Did you decant it or just pop and pour?
It was opened a few hours ago, no decanting. I really do not think decanting would be a good thing.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#6 Post by Kelly Flynn » February 10th, 2020, 10:18 am

LOVE the old Figeacs!

Martin, I recall scoring the 1982 off the list at Alta in nyc (great tapas; great and reasonable wine list) maybe ten years ago for a song. I've been hooked ever since.

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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#7 Post by Yao C » February 10th, 2020, 10:45 am

I've had recent good experiences from old Figeac, notably 1978 and 1985, but echoing what Martin said, both faded within 60-90m following a double decant
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#8 Post by Gerhard P. » February 10th, 2020, 11:08 am

Joshua Kates wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 4:29 am
Interesting, Martin,

I just drank an '83 of this wine this weekend. No fruit bomb either, but not a great experience; I don't think it was the best bottle.
Had the '83, too. Good, satisfying but not great, the 1990 is much better ! (and that's post-Parker .... right.?)
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#9 Post by Martin Zwick » February 10th, 2020, 11:23 am

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the son-in-law from Monsieur Manoncourt brought the bottles directly from the Chateau to Berlin.

Regarding the `83 I have to look in my old notes whether it was really 1983?! But I am quite confident.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#10 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 10th, 2020, 11:28 am

When I first started with wine, I did an incredible course in Bordeaux. Among the tastings was a 1979 horizontal, and Figeac was definitely the outlier with an strong asparagus nose.

Tasted it three times since, last in 2006, and the asparagus aromas were always front and center; wonder if they have dissipated with age.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#11 Post by Martin Zwick » February 10th, 2020, 11:33 am

I looked at cellatracker regarding 1983 and it is interesting to see the huge gap regarding scoring. You have people with 87-88/100 and people with 92-94/100.

"In short, Chateau Figeac is a (still) rather misunderstood wine that is perhaps – as Kevin Shin suggested – a most Burgundian style of Bordeaux!"
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#12 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 10th, 2020, 11:44 am

Martin Zwick wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 11:33 am
I looked at cellatracker regarding 1983 and it is interesting to see the huge gap regarding scoring. You have people with 87-88/100 and people with 92-94/100.

"In short, Chateau Figeac is a (still) rather misunderstood wine that is perhaps – as Kevin Shin suggested – a most Burgundian style of Bordeaux!"
[rofl.gif] Sorry Figeac, Burgundian???!!!

Not in this universe. If Kevin had said the most Medocian Right Banker, where it would show its large percentage of Cabernet, I would be saying “Attaboy” and waving a few flags. But having tasted Figeac extensively as well as a lot of Burgundy, I cannot see any resemblance whatsoever.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#13 Post by Joshua Kates » February 10th, 2020, 3:44 pm

Martin Zwick wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 11:33 am
I looked at cellatracker regarding 1983 and it is interesting to see the huge gap regarding scoring. You have people with 87-88/100 and people with 92-94/100.

"In short, Chateau Figeac is a (still) rather misunderstood wine that is perhaps – as Kevin Shin suggested – a most Burgundian style of Bordeaux!"
Well I may understand where Martin is coming from in comparing it with Figeac now, though I trust your experience and knowledge, Mark, which is far greater than mine. My only point is that my bottle was not in good enough shape to judge from. I love Burgundy; that was not the issue.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#14 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 10th, 2020, 4:03 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 11:44 am
Martin Zwick wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 11:33 am
I looked at cellatracker regarding 1983 and it is interesting to see the huge gap regarding scoring. You have people with 87-88/100 and people with 92-94/100.

"In short, Chateau Figeac is a (still) rather misunderstood wine that is perhaps – as Kevin Shin suggested – a most Burgundian style of Bordeaux!"
[rofl.gif] Sorry Figeac, Burgundian???!!!

Not in this universe. If Kevin had said the most Medocian Right Banker, where it would show its large percentage of Cabernet, I would be saying “Attaboy” and waving a few flags. But having tasted Figeac extensively as well as a lot of Burgundy, I cannot see any resemblance whatsoever.
Sorry that was a little direct (rude).
I have only ever really thought Beychevelle could be confused for a Burgundy. And the 1959 may be the best Richebourg ever made in Bordeaux.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#15 Post by AndyK » February 10th, 2020, 5:15 pm

FWIW, I had a 1950 Figeac over the Holidays and it was one of the most memorable "old wine" experiences I've had. Beautiful wines!
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#16 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 10th, 2020, 6:20 pm

The old Figeacs can be some of the most profound wines I have ever tasted. For a number of dinners for journalists dinner at Vinexpo, the management used to pull out wines from the 1940s and 1950s. I do remember the 1950, a beauty.

In general, the high proportion of Cabernet ripens a little after the Merlot, so there is always a danger the wines will not be totally ripe. The risk/reward can be tough, but if you want to taste great Figeac, perfectly ripe, look for the 1998.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#17 Post by Martin Zwick » February 10th, 2020, 11:35 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 4:03 pm
Mark Golodetz wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 11:44 am
Martin Zwick wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 11:33 am
I looked at cellatracker regarding 1983 and it is interesting to see the huge gap regarding scoring. You have people with 87-88/100 and people with 92-94/100.

"In short, Chateau Figeac is a (still) rather misunderstood wine that is perhaps – as Kevin Shin suggested – a most Burgundian style of Bordeaux!"
[rofl.gif] Sorry Figeac, Burgundian???!!!

Not in this universe. If Kevin had said the most Medocian Right Banker, where it would show its large percentage of Cabernet, I would be saying “Attaboy” and waving a few flags. But having tasted Figeac extensively as well as a lot of Burgundy, I cannot see any resemblance whatsoever.


Sorry that was a little direct (rude).
I have only ever really thought Beychevelle could be confused for a Burgundy. And the 1959 may be the best Richebourg ever made in Bordeaux.


If my memories are correct also the Figeac-expert Panos Kakaviatos made this Burgundy comparison in Berlin with attendance of son-in-law Eric d`Aramon. I hope my memories are valid?!
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#18 Post by Joshua Kates » February 11th, 2020, 2:00 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 4:03 pm
I have only ever really thought Beychevelle could be confused for a Burgundy. And the 1959 may be the best Richebourg ever made in Bordeaux.
[/quote]

I have a couple of '85 Beychevelle; how do they rate Richebourg-wise?
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#19 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 11th, 2020, 2:19 pm

Sorry Joshua, no. Good wine though.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#20 Post by Ian A » February 11th, 2020, 2:20 pm

La Conseillante, notably from 1981-90, occasionally has Burgundian overtones. I agree that Figeac does not, but that view could be communicated more tactfully.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#21 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 11th, 2020, 2:39 pm

I heard Rolland hates Burgundy so he has made Gothic the new style for Figeac.

I kid, I kid.

Mark, what’s your take on the new Figeac?

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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#22 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 11th, 2020, 2:49 pm

Too early to tell. Certainly made with the objective of being promoted to take its place alongside Angelus and Pavie ( a dubious distinction). The wines I have tasted seem to be riper and more glossy, but I also sense some real substance underneath. But these are early days, and I look forward to tasting them in ten years.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#23 Post by asnitow » February 11th, 2020, 6:52 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 2:39 pm
I heard Rolland hates Burgundy so he has made Gothic the new style for Figeac.

I kid, I kid.

Mark, what’s your take on the new Figeac?
When do you date the new Figeac to? First vintage under new regime is which? Thanks.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#24 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 11th, 2020, 7:00 pm

Leve’s website says 2012.

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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#25 Post by Tom Reddick » February 11th, 2020, 10:17 pm

Martin Zwick wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 4:38 am
Joshua Kates wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 4:29 am
Interesting, Martin,

I just drank an '83 of this wine this weekend. No fruit bomb either, but not a great experience; I don't think it was the best bottle.

Interesting Joshua,

I drank ´83 around 10 years ago and it was mind-blowing.

Fair to say that Ch. Figeac has a lot of bottle variations according to the TNs I read from cellartracker etc. On the table was a danish wine merchant he also praised the wine and Figeac in general, clearly a Figeac lover. He said that he was in a restaurant and a Figeac blown away a Ch. Petrus from the table. I forgot the vintage.

OR maybe the Figeac-style could be easily overlooked?! Its not a jump-in-the-face wine, rather an unexcitedly wine which impresses by balance/harmony and elegance.

OR I am just a blind Figeac lover.
I think CT can be difficult to rely on with Figeac as with Magdelaine for a couple of reasons.

First, I have observed over the past 20+ years that St. Emilion wines are a bit of an acquired taste here in the USA. It took me a while to come to fully appreciate them, and I have seen the same in many of my wine tasting friends.

Second, and this may well impact my point above, wines like Figeac and Magdelaine can be very dangerous to purchase in the United States because the wines have never been as widely appreciated as more widely followed Bordeaux, and thus many of the bottles languished on store shelves for an uncommonly long time. Unless I have rock solid provenance (buying from cellar's in Mark G's neighborhood is good enough), I backfill older vintages from European brokers I know and trust. That comes at a premium- but having tasted a great many Figeacs and Magdelaines I can attest to the fact it is worth it. These are incredibly durable and long-lived wines- even surpassing the first growths in that respect in many vintages. If you are opening a Figeac or Magdelaine under 30 years of age and it is brown in color or fading after 1-2 hours in decanter, it is either from an atrocious vintage or it is heat damaged IMHO. I had a 1987 Magdelaine not long ago that, while fully developed, was still a lovely bright red and far from fading. I will agree in advance that every bottle varies- especially at a certain age- but as a general rule I stand by what I have said.

Martin- I share your love for Figeac and also treasure it for the harmony and elegance you report. I describe as tranquil very often. It is very relaxing- and not well suited to the big balls style of wine so many people like right now. One can get lost in thoughts- almost in dreams- while savoring a glass in a quiet setting. I also like it because when it gets old I find it usually has a very particular aroma of freshly cut lily pads. When I was growing up, I would often go out to my grandfather's farm and help him clear overgrown lily pads from his pond. Sitting in piles on the bank, freshly cut, they have a very distinctive aroma. It is similar to cut grass but more pungent and with suggestions of the scent of a grass field right after it rains. A very unique aroma I have never forgotten, and now as an adult I find it in Figeac- but nowhere else.

Final note while we are on the subject- the 1971 Figeac is drinking beautifully now and very much worth the effort to seek out. I have always been more of a fan than most of the 1971s, and while I have not had all of the great wines of that vintage- for me Figeac and Petrus are the greatest examples. The Figeac is the more calm and sedate of the pair, but like Petrus is nowhere near decline and has another decade in it at the very least.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#26 Post by Martin Zwick » February 12th, 2020, 3:11 am

I am not alone! DANKE, Tom
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#27 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 12th, 2020, 6:39 am

Please don’t get me wrong, I love Figeac, I love the fact they took risks, I love the high proportion of Cabernet on some of the great Saint Emilion terroir. Sometimes the wines succeeded brilliantly, sometimes the grapes were picked too early, and the wines are less desirable.

The new regime has gone for ripeness, aided by the effects of global warming. Perhaps we will never again have that marginal Figeac, but we will have more consistent wines. And I still don’t think it will ever taste like Burgundy.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#28 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 12th, 2020, 6:39 am

Tom Reddick wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 10:17 pm
When I was growing up, I would often go out to my grandfather's farm and help him clear overgrown lily pads from his pond. Sitting in piles on the bank, freshly cut, they have a very distinctive aroma. It is similar to cut grass but more pungent and with suggestions of the scent of a grass field right after it rains. A very unique aroma I have never forgotten, and now as an adult I find it in Figeac- but nowhere else.
Petrichor! [cheers.gif]

Figeac and Magdelaine stood alone, I think, in that respect, and now they are both gone - one literally, one stylistically.

I’m not aware of any other St Em that fits the bill that you so eloquently lay out.

Any that I am missing? Is there a Sociando in hiding, an iconoclastic producer in St Em that will not change course? I cannot opine about Ausone or Cheval Blanc as they are out of my league, and last that I have had of either was the 2000 Cheval, which incidentally, was amazing. Last Ausone I had was from the 1950s, but that is another story . . . .

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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#29 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 12th, 2020, 6:41 am

Canon also was a dinosaur in that respect. My guess is that even if they wanted to, they could not make the wines of yesteryear
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#30 Post by MitchTallan » February 12th, 2020, 6:44 am

My dad had a decent collection of Burgundy and Bordeaux and starting at the age of 15 or so, he would open a bottle every Friday night and give me one glass to consumer with dinner.
I was 15 in 1974.
Two wines were my epiphany wines, Calon Segur and Figeac in various vintages between '59 and '71.
I am sitting on three bottles of 2000 Figeac that I bought upon release. I don't hold out that much hope for them.

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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#31 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 12th, 2020, 6:51 am

MitchTallan wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 6:44 am
My dad had a decent collection of Burgundy and Bordeaux and starting at the age of 15 or so, he would open a bottle every Friday night and give me one glass to consumer with dinner.
I was 15 in 1974.
Two wines were my epiphany wines, Calon Segur and Figeac in various vintages between '59 and '71.
I am sitting on three bottles of 2000 Figeac that I bought upon release. I don't hold out that much hope for them.
Why is that?

I just checked CT notes, and while there are a few notes that might disappoint, there are also consistent notes from super-tasters, A.So (four bottles) and Faryan, both of whom have scored it a 93; plus even some 93s from Mike Dildine and DCWino (Kevin Shin?). Panos also scored it a 93. Seems like a wine that appeals to both camps. Well, Leve has scored it an 84 and an 87.

I do not recall having tried this vintage, but do have a bottle in my fridge.

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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#32 Post by Martin Zwick » February 12th, 2020, 7:16 am

Regarding 2000 Figeac, here in Europe the well-known Austrian wine&food magazin FALSTAFF gave 91/100 at a Figeac-vertical in 2012. On Wine Specatator someone gave 94/100. In Switzerland an expert gave 97/100


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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#33 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 12th, 2020, 7:18 am

MitchTallan wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 6:44 am
My dad had a decent collection of Burgundy and Bordeaux and starting at the age of 15 or so, he would open a bottle every Friday night and give me one glass to consumer with dinner.
I was 15 in 1974.
Two wines were my epiphany wines, Calon Segur and Figeac in various vintages between '59 and '71.
I am sitting on three bottles of 2000 Figeac that I bought upon release. I don't hold out that much hope for them.
2000 Figeac is one of those marginal ones, slammed by several critics. I have a slightly greater tolerance for herbal, and I really like the wine.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#34 Post by MitchTallan » February 12th, 2020, 7:34 am

Figeac and Calon Segur have something in common-great labels.
I love the colors and font of the Figeac label and would love to know the history of how they came up with it. It is modernistic much as Brane Cantenac was back in the day but the Figeac label remains stunning in a way that Brane Cantenac's does not. The Figeac label is reminiscent (to me) of Robert Indiana's "LOVE". And then I always loved the heart and story (which I do know) behind it on the Calon label. Irrelevant to the conversation at hand and needless thread-drift. Sorry.

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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#35 Post by Gerhard P. » February 12th, 2020, 12:52 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 6:39 am
Tom Reddick wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 10:17 pm
When I was growing up, I would often go out to my grandfather's farm and help him clear overgrown lily pads from his pond. Sitting in piles on the bank, freshly cut, they have a very distinctive aroma. It is similar to cut grass but more pungent and with suggestions of the scent of a grass field right after it rains. A v hitsfan ery unique aroma I have never forgotten, and now as an adult I find it in Figeac- but nowhere else.
Petrichor! [cheers.gif]

Figeac and Magdelaine stood alone, I think, in that respect, and now they are both gone - one literally, one stylistically.

I’m not aware of any other St Em that fits the bill that you so eloquently lay out.

Any that I am missing? Is there a Sociando in hiding, an iconoclastic producer in St Em that will not change course? I cannot opine about Ausone or Cheval Blanc as they are out of my league, and last that I have had of either was the 2000 Cheval, which incidentally, was amazing. Last Ausone I had was from the 1950s, but that is another story . . . .
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#36 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 12th, 2020, 1:09 pm

Thanks, Gerhard. We were actually talking about Larmande on another thread - a Chateau that I used to love - but had not tried in any more recent vintages so was curious where it stood stylistically.

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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#37 Post by Mark Thompson » February 12th, 2020, 3:50 pm

Tom Reddick wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 10:17 pm


Final note while we are on the subject- the 1971 Figeac is drinking beautifully now and very much worth the effort to seek out. I have always been more of a fan than most of the 1971s, and while I have not had all of the great wines of that vintage- for me Figeac and Petrus are the greatest examples. The Figeac is the more calm and sedate of the pair, but like Petrus is nowhere near decline and has another decade in it at the very least.
On the 1971 Right Bank wines, I’ve loved both the VCC and Latour A Pomerol recently. I haven’t picked up any Figeac older than the 1978, but it’s not for lack of trying.

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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#38 Post by k s h i n » February 17th, 2020, 6:22 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 6:51 am
MitchTallan wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 6:44 am
My dad had a decent collection of Burgundy and Bordeaux and starting at the age of 15 or so, he would open a bottle every Friday night and give me one glass to consumer with dinner.
I was 15 in 1974.
Two wines were my epiphany wines, Calon Segur and Figeac in various vintages between '59 and '71.
I am sitting on three bottles of 2000 Figeac that I bought upon release. I don't hold out that much hope for them.
Why is that?

I just checked CT notes, and while there are a few notes that might disappoint, there are also consistent notes from super-tasters, A.So (four bottles) and Faryan, both of whom have scored it a 93; plus even some 93s from Mike Dildine and DCWino (Kevin Shin?). Panos also scored it a 93. Seems like a wine that appeals to both camps. Well, Leve has scored it an 84 and an 87.

I do not recall having tried this vintage, but do have a bottle in my fridge.
The 00 is very green, atypical for the vintage. It was picked way too early.

P.S. The fruit expression in Figeac is red. It is lighter and rounder than other recent right bank wines. Some of the Figeacs are very Burgundian.
  • 1975 Château Figeac - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru (9/3/2015)
    Lost Thursday Wine Lunch - Blacksalt (Blacksalt, Washington DC): Fully mature Bordeaux nose displaying sweet but shy red fruits, cherry and raspberry, a hint of green/mint, truffle, caramel, cedar and sous bois. Warm and round, shy sweet red fruit driven palate impression, good mineral presence, no noticeable tannins and sweet medium finish. This is a fully mature classic Figeac that must have been picked early. I often find Figeac very Burgundian and this is no exception. Not as impressive/concentrated as the 75 Latour but showing excellent precision and lovely detail. For my palate, this is an ideal wine to sip in cool crisp wet autumn night, perhaps with a piece of comte. (94 pts.)
  • 1998 Château Figeac - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru (1/18/2012)
    Chateau Figeac dinner with Mr. Eric d'Aramon (Ruth Chris - Washington DC): The 98 is my favorite at the moment. This is a very exotic and hedonistic wine. Deeply toned red fruits, flower, cinnamon, nutmeg, chartreuse and cedar. This displays similar Burgundian aspects as the 2001. Excellent concentration, bright acidity and integrated tannins. Lovely wine. (97 pts.)
  • 2001 Château Figeac - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru (1/18/2012)
    Chateau Figeac dinner with Mr. Eric d'Aramon (Ruth Chris - Washington DC): Very Burgundian impression but distinctively Bordeaux, bright red fruits, cedar, licorice, caramel as usual for this property a hint of green which in this case quite refreshing. This medium body wine is the most approachable in this flight, soft, sweet and luscious. It is ready to go and will complement most meat dishes well. (92 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#39 Post by Thomas Keim » February 17th, 2020, 6:33 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 11:28 am
When I first started with wine, I did an incredible course in Bordeaux. Among the tastings was a 1979 horizontal, and Figeac was definitely the outlier with an strong asparagus nose.

Tasted it three times since, last in 2006, and the asparagus aromas were always front and center; wonder if they have dissipated with age.
I was liquidating a very large retail cellar in Chicago in the mid-1980s and they had close to 100 cases of 1979 Figeac. At 4-5 years of age, it was definitely grassy and herbal, and just plain kind of weird. We dumped it dirt cheap ($13 a bottle) and the hopes that it would come around some day. Bottles in the '90s seemed to be drying out as well. Always wondered where the hell that wine went - glad to see it could have come around -
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#40 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 17th, 2020, 6:43 pm

Mark Thompson wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 3:50 pm
Tom Reddick wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 10:17 pm


Final note while we are on the subject- the 1971 Figeac is drinking beautifully now and very much worth the effort to seek out. I have always been more of a fan than most of the 1971s, and while I have not had all of the great wines of that vintage- for me Figeac and Petrus are the greatest examples. The Figeac is the more calm and sedate of the pair, but like Petrus is nowhere near decline and has another decade in it at the very least.
On the 1971 Right Bank wines, I’ve loved both the VCC and Latour A Pomerol recently. I haven’t picked up any Figeac older than the 1978, but it’s not for lack of trying.
The other hidden vintage on the Right Bank is 1975- especially true in Pomerol.
ITB

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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#41 Post by Dale Williams » February 18th, 2020, 5:22 am

Mark Golodetz wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 6:43 pm
The other hidden vintage on the Right Bank is 1975- especially true in Pomerol.
I agree '75 Pomerols are great, but based on auction pricing over last few years not sure it's hidden!

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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#42 Post by Claus Jeppesen » February 18th, 2020, 7:08 am

Capsule and cork

Martin, next time we can make a comprehensive Figeac + Magdelaine vertical [cheers.gif]
Claus

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Martin Zwick
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#43 Post by Martin Zwick » February 18th, 2020, 8:57 am

That would be great, Claus. TAK

And Soren would be happy too. ;-)
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#44 Post by Laurent Gibet » February 19th, 2020, 5:39 am

Last year, I had a great Figeac 1998 (35% CS, 35% CF, 30% merlot) : 95/100 (logically ripe, elegantly balanced, excellent showing - as Kevin could say)

I had a great vertical in december 2009 : http://www.invinoveritastoulouse.fr/ind ... ale-figeac
"Our" Figeac 1979 was disappointing :
26. Château Figeac Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé B 1979 (pas d'indication de degré)
DS(14?) - PC(13,5) - LG14,5 - PR13,5 - MS13,5 - CD13. Report by Pierre Citerne :
Niveau parfait. Dessus du bouchon (sous la capsule) : quelques moisissures.
Robe assez dense, voilée.
L'olfaction, peu amène, ressemble à celle d'une vieille syrah très végétale : suie, viande fumée, cuir et surtout notes « vertes » pouvant évoquer le petit pois ou l'asperge...Ce cousinage aromatique avec le Rhône septentrional tend à disparaître à l'aération, puis reviens...
Bouche bizarre, assez concentrée, peu harmonieuse, rude, très acide.
Last edited by Laurent Gibet on February 19th, 2020, 5:55 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#45 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 19th, 2020, 5:49 am

By Figeac standards of that era, the 1998 is a little riper, but in no way overripe. Perfect. It is also my favorite young(ish) Figeac in the modern era. Drinking beautifully now.
ITB

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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#46 Post by Mark Thompson » March 7th, 2020, 8:51 pm

Just opened a bottle of the 1979 Figeac—really beautiful nose with some green notes that (for me) go great with everything else—loads of tobacco and black fruit. Not all that dissimilar from the 1978 I opened several weeks ago, though the Cabernet Franc is perhaps a bit more front and center here. Slightly better than a recent 1979 Magdelaine.

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Re: 1979 Ch. Figeac - a wine from another era

#47 Post by wspohn » March 8th, 2020, 10:17 am

Lot of respect for the Figeac red here. We swapped an 82 Mouton for 3 bb of the Figeac - I figure we came out far ahead on that one. Am pretty much out of 79s now as I intentionally drank them while they were drinking well (last bottle was a Ducru that had the effrontery to be corked). Have one Latour left - thinking that will have held well.
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