One of my top of the pops from barrel tastings of #Bordeaux16 is Château Figeac. Could we say that it rivals Cheval Blanc – and for less money? Yes, we can. Probably the best Château Figeac I ever have tried from barrel, and superior to last year’s wine, as Cabernet Franc proved particularly successful on cooler soils. The long growing season enabled a crunchy, cool fruit expression aromatically, with silky – and even creamy – tannins and superb depth and substance to the full-bodied palate. “The dryness of the summer slowed down ripening and the cool nights throughout much of the season lead to a perfectly controlled ripeness,” explained director Frederic Faye. I could not agree more. High acidity matched the 14% alcohol perfectly, and the 100% new oak is completely incorporated. There is an almost Médoc aspect to this, with the 38% Cabernet Sauvignon lending Pauillac-like graphite aroma and flavor. Veritable juiciness, no doubt coming from the savory 36% Merlot, makes the wine appeal immediately, yet fine structure and a long finish ensure long cellar life. Wow! 96-98 More “top of the pops” here: http://wine-chronicles.com/blog/bordeaux-2016-top-pops
Thanks Panos for the note. Really like Figeac and just visited there a few months ago, but didn’t get a barrel sample of the '16.
Come on Panos, I’m trying not to buy new stuff!!!
So we’ve been hearing of this estate moving a bit modern with 2014 vintage, any comparative thoughts, say to 2010, 2009, 2000, 1998, 1990?
Panos, you are not the only one who loves the 2016 at Figeac; and most of the people whose palates I trust, feel that Figeac is particularly good, and one of the wines of the vintage.
Suckling only gave it a 97, so I am dubious
Just remind yourself that Rolland is involved.
Thanks for the note. Will meditate, focus on deep breathing, and not order avocado toast for the rest of 2017 in order to justify buying a couple bottles.
While the hand of Michel was detectable last year, not so in 2016
I read his role was principally in the blending. Which this year resulted in more than a third cab sauvignon! And a third cab franc. Maybe Mr Alfert would like it after all
You all forgot that the wine rests in 100%!!! new wood. This + Rolland = avoid! The wine is modern, without any terroir influence, more Napa than Bordeaux, without character and a caricature of Bordeaux.
Panos did loose all his senses obviously.
Panos: curious as to your thoughts about how well Cab Franc did in 2016. What about some of the others - I know you loved the Lafleur and Cheval Blanc, but what about Hosanna, Le Dome and others with a high percentage of CF? Would love to know your thoughts.
Hmm, 14% alc, 100% oak, $140+/bottle. Let me think about it…
Change that to $2500 and you’ve got DRC La Tache , right?
Thank you for bringing me back to reality! I was being nostalgic, reminiscing about the old Figeac, before grubby Uncle Rollo stuck his wood in it!
I am not sure how serious you are being, but there are a few things that are mitigating the Rolland effect.
The Chateau itself and the winemaker have made it very clear that Rolland is a voice but not the voice, and their first priority is to make the best Figeac possible. Having talked to them extensively, I do not believe this is just lip service.
The grapes: Rolland is most dangerous when he is working with a high percentage of Merlot. Figeac is about one third Merlot.He is much less of a change agent with Cabernet.
Rolland himself does not have a single signature, but many. At his most bombastic, the wines tend to as loud as he is, but he also consults for a winemaker line Annabelle Cruse at Corbin, and the touch is delicate.
Finally, I think it is interesting that the wine itself has been praised by so many critics and merchant friends with very different palates. I wish I had the chance to taste it, but unfortunately could not go to Bordeaux this year, but as Figeac is a favorite wine of mine, based on those who did taste, and who seem fairly aligned with my palate, I will buy the wine.
Yeah, at that price, no thank you.
Can you please explain how this barrel sample was already blended to the proportions it will be bottled?
Well said Mark.
Leoville Poyferre, also under Rolland consultation, is also particularly fabulous in 2016.
PS - Totally agree re Corbin. Although I tend to prefer fresher vintages such as 2014 over 2009.
Will get back to you in a few days… thanks for asking!