June 15, 2020
Debut: It’s the St. Émilion That Drinks Like a Pauillac. Another Monumental Release That's Up There with the Likes of 1947 and 1949. Discover the Most Watched Château on the Right Bank and Why Figeac Is Once Again a MUST-BUY Recommendation! Just Five Cases
“A wine that genuinely belongs among the elite Saint-Émilions… brilliant delineation and mineral-rich red fruit that articulates its terroir as well as any Right Bank you will find.” — Neal Martin on Figeac
Sure, the Left Bank and the First Growths have stolen the headlines over the past week with the 2019 releases from Haut Brion, Lafite-Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild receiving 100-point reviews and selling out. But 2019 is not restricted to the Left Bank elite. Today marks the release of two substantial wines from the Right Bank — Figeac and La Conseillante — as well as the consummate value, Pape Clement from down under in Pessac-Leognan. 2019 is certainly another great year for St. Émilion with Angelus and Cheval Blanc, but there is something truly special taking place at the ancient and regional neighbor of Château Figeac under managing director Frédéric Faye — and this is one of the best tips I can provide to aspiring Bordeaux enthusiasts and collectors.
The fabled Château Figeac and its eponymous wine are making a run at the Premier Grand Cru Classé ‘A’ club that includes Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angelus, and Pavie. Located on the Pomerol border, Figeac possesses the unique Graves-like soils of northern Saint Émilion with 100-year-old vines, which allow for a higher concentration of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc and deliver the signature masculine touch, but at another level. With the 2019 release, we are talking one of the greatest Figeac since the legends of 1947, 1949, and 1955, though we would add 2016 and 2018 to the mix. Over the past five years in visiting the château, I can say that the 2019 is the most consistent 100-point candidate I have tasted; moreover, it has been one the fastest-selling Saint-Émilion at En Primeur over the past five years, and as a result, we are allocated a mere five cases. It is clear that this château is on a roll with its perfect and near-perfect expressions in 2015, 2016 and 2018. These are among the best insider tips I can provide, as this estate will achieve its Premier Grand Cru Classé ‘A’ ranking and the wines are going to increase in price.
In 2019, Figeac is once again the “Right Bank wine that drinks like a Pauillac,” with its unique blend of 36% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot and 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2019 release joins the ranks of the legendary Figeac releases from 1949, 1955, as well as the modern-day benchmarks of 2016 and 2018. The new 100-point candidate is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage once again, and it is our MUST-BUY pick alongside Ducru-Beaucaillou, Lafite-Rothschild, Lafleur, and Vieux Château Certain. Château Figeac’s very own Frédéric Faye stated it best, “This vintage is a benchmark for me. It was very special… a level of brightness that goes beyond what the 2018 produced — beyond what I even thought was possible for this estate… this 2019 is very Figeac. It is a crystalline Figeac.” Move over Cheval Blanc, here comes Figeac!
It should be noted that the perfect 2016 and 2018 Figeac already command $269 and $249 respectively, so the 100-point candidate of 2019 offers relative collector value at $169.99.
FEATURED WINE(S): INSIDER PICKS WITH THE DEBUT OF FIGEAC AND LA CONSEILLANTE
2019 Note: More sizes 1.5L, 3.0L, 6.0L available on request. Please note, for 2019 En Primeur selections, the wines will arrive by the end of 2022. As such, should tariffs exist at the time, the purchaser of the wines will be responsible for these additional tariffs at the time of importation. All wines subject to confirmation.
Today’s releases do not end with Figeac. If you are new to the little Pomerol of La Conseillante, it is one of our signature Right Bank properties alongside Vieux Chateau Certain and Lafleur, and it is always surprising to us how this 18th Century estate has remained relatively under the radar with each vintage release. It likely has to do with its limited production of just 3,800 cases. What we typically appreciate about this Château is the restraint, elegance and harmony they deliver in comparison to some of its famous neighbors. In many ways, this is the insider’s Pomerol; it is about elegance not over extraction, from prized real estate delivered at a fraction of the price of those next-door. It is a Bordeaux with a touch of Burgundian sensibility; we are not alone, critics, collectors and trade alike often reference comparisons as Parker did with previous releases, “If this were a Burgundy, one might think of it as a grand cru Musigny, “not as broad and powerful as Petrus, Trotanoy, Hosanna or Lafleur, but it is gorgeously silky, elegant and stylish,” and “seems to represent a hybrid blend of a grand cru red Burgundy and a top terroir from Bordeaux.”
ADDITIONAL NOTES AND REVIEWS:
2019 FIGEAC, St.-Emilion
98-100 Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2019 Figeac is composed of 30% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 36% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 13th of September to the 7th of October. The alcohol this year is 14.1% and the pH is 3.7. Steal-your-heart scents of mulberries, black raspberries, Black Forest cake and cassis prance ever so gracefully out of the glass, followed by nuances of plum preserves, red roses, cinnamon toast and clove oil plus just a waft of lavender. Medium to full-bodied, the palate shimmers with electric energy, framed by a solid backbone of wonderfully ripe, grainy Cabernet-led tannins and bold freshness, finishing with fantastic persistence and with tons of emerging earth and floral layers. This is a simply stunning, seemingly effortless, beautifully harmonious expression of the vineyard and the vintage - bravo!"
98-99 Points, James Suckling: "This is one of the most structured and linear Figeac with very fine tannins, yet at an intense level. So complex on the nose with notes of white flowers, blueberries and graphite. It's full-bodied, very balanced and agile. So transparent and linear with brightness and raciness. 36% cabernet franc, 30% merlot and 34% cabernet sauvignon."
2019 LA CONSEILLANTE, Pomerol
98-99 Points, James Suckling: "A very fine, ethereal wine, offering blueberries, white truffles and violets. Full body and a wonderful texture with tannins that spread across the palate, caressing the mouth. Really polished to the finest grain. Extremely long. Shows strength with finesse."
97 Points, Jane Anson, Decanter: "Deeply coloured, high aromatics with iris and violets, extremely focused with savoury fruits - a character that I have found in the Cabernet Francs in this vintage. It has an excellent grip that takes hold from the first moment and carries you through building tannins. A lovely tactile wine and an austere finish, signs that this will age for decades. The chocolate of Pomerol comes in on the end, but you have to wait for it, the beginning is savoury blueberry and raspberry fruit. Harvest September 17 to 21, taking in all the Merlot in four days, quite unusual but they knew rain was coming and wanted it to be in; they pick only in the morning to keep freshness, then Cabernet Franc September 30 and again one day October 7 (the drought slowed ripening more of the Cab Franc). A yield of 34hl/ha. Drinking Window 2027 – 2043"
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