CHÂTEAU FIGEAC

2020 1er Grand Cru Classé Saint Emilion

EN PRIMEUR

Market Insight: Figeac has been on a sensational run of form and almost certainly has the highest chance of being up-rated in the 2022 St Emilion re-classification. A recent change to plot by plot microvinification and an upgraded winery demonstrate how they are setting their stall. If this happens, it is likely that the wine will move immediately up to £1,000/6, or perhaps even to join the likes of Pavie and Angelus, who were up-rated in 2012.L&S (May 2021)

In Bond

75cl bottles (wood case of 3)

* This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.

A super-classic wine, the 2020 Figeac sizzles with vertical energy. The château has made a number of tremendous wines in recent vintages, but I don't remember a Figeac with this much saline-drenched intensity and mineral drive. The 2020 is superb, but it won't be ready to drink anytime soon. The mixture of soil types and varieties, with the high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, that is such a signature here, was a huge help in maintaining balance and energy in the wine. Technical Director Frédéric Faye certainly seems to have gotten the most out of the vintage. Drinking range: 2035 - 2060 Rating: 95-97 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Jun 2021)

The 2020 Figeac was picked from September 4 to October 1 and underwent vinification free of SO2. Deep purple in color, it is initially backward and sultry on the nose, necessitating 60 minutes before it really opens. It then reveals intense scents of cranberry, raspberry and touches of cassis intermingling with white pepper. Given that the Cabernets comprise 63% of the blend, this has a typical Left Bank personality but with Right Bank precocity. The palate conveys a sense of vibrancy and vigor on the entry, a dash of black pepper and allspice mingling with the mélange of red and black fruit. The tannins are satin-like in texture, and there’s dark berry fruit and hints of pencil lead and black truffle shavings toward the Pomerol-like finish. This is a magnificent Figeac from head winemaker Frédéric Faye and his team. This sample really came into its own 2–3 hours after opening. Drinking range: 2030 - 2065 Rating: 96-98 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2021)

I loved the 2020 Château Figeac, and this beauty offers everything you could want from this site, revealing a dense purple/ruby color to go with gorgeous notes of cassis, tobacco, sappy herbs, and spring flowers as well as an almost Pauillac lead pencil note that develops with time in the glass. A blend of 37% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc, and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, it's full-bodied and has perfect balance, ultra-fine tannins, and a great, great finish. It brings ample power yet has a weightless elegance and riveting precision reminiscent of the 2016. Don't miss it. Rating: 96-98 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (May 2021)

2020 Figeac is a tour de force. Every possible variable is considered at this historic estate and the results of the painstaking work, coupled with the innate skill and experience of the team, is evident in this wine. They employed horses to plough during the heavy rains at the beginning of the year rather than tractors, which would have struggled while also compacting the soil unnecessarily. Conversely in the summer, they ploughed their cover crops in extremely gently, so as not to kick up dust. They used judicious green harvesting on younger plots while keeping an extremely close eye on each of their three varieties because they are all essential to make Figeac its own unique proposition. While this is essentially a gravelly estate, with 4-5m depth in most areas, the blue clay beneath this layer of gravel ensured that there was no undue stress on the vines during the hot summer. A touch of rain at the beginning of September completed the picture and they harvested at a leisurely pace over four weeks. Freshness in early picks of Merlot was balanced when the older vines came in and bolstered these notes with extra levels of texture and tannins. Cabernet Franc was on stunning form in 2020 making up spiciness and glorious aromatic notes of violets and exotic tea leaves. The Cabernet Sauvignon berries were tiny in 2020 and so extra gentle handling was needed to extract the luxurious fruit notes but no astringency to upset the hard work that the viti-team put in over this testing year. Figeac works very closely with their coopers to build bespoke woodwork for this estate and Frédéric Faye told me that they have a 35-page instruction document for their barrel-makers so that they are guaranteed the very finest and most suitable barrels imaginable. The sample I tasted was a ‘finished wine’ with 7% press wine already added and so it was possible for me to see deep into its soul allowing me to fully appreciate the incredible tri-varietal balance achieved here. This is a highly sophisticated Right Bank wine with hints of Left Bank grandeur and discipline and it is, most definitely, a style of its own. The Cabernets seem to sandwich the Merlot with Franc providing the aroma, Merlot the heart, and Cabernet Sauvignon the impeccable finish. This is an astoundingly serious wine with so much detail coupled to so much delicacy and restraint it is incredible. I find the tannins unique at Figeac, and in 2020, they have never been fitter, nor more resplendent and they will power this wine for decades to come. While I have not as much experience of this Château as I would like, I can definitely say that this is the finest Figeac I have tasted and it has a spectacular future ahead of it. Rating: 19+/20 Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (May 2021)

This delivers concentration and intensity, a ton of black fruits, definitely Cabernet dominant in terms of fruit, and its slightly serious character, with a whoosh of juice on the finish. An extremely elegant and controlled wine, with savoury bilberry and loganberry, then peony and tobacco leaf as it opens. Tannins are finely layered but there are a lot of them. Not an exuberant Figeac, but this is rarely a wine that rushes out to seduce, it takes its time and has ageing potential in spades. The gravel soils in the drought of the summer meant the grapes slowed their ripening process, although only the youngest vines suffered blockages, and that combined with the high Cabernet content of Figeac means lower alcohols than the past few years, giving a classic balance and a feeling of effortless success. 75% of the production went into the first wine. Harvest September 4 to October 1, a full five weeks. Their final yield here was around 37hl/ha, (higher than in 2019 at Figeac, which was 34hl/ha). As with on the Left Bank, the Cabernet Sauvignons were the lowest yield (30hl/ha), with tiny berries so had to be careful with the extraction. First vintage in the new cellars. Drinking range: 2029 - 2046 Rating: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)

Figeac is a very ancient estate dating from the Gallo-Roman period. Its origins go back to at least the 2nd century, at which time it belonged to the Figeacus family, who gave their name to the “villa” located on this site. Château Figeac has been in the family of the present owner since 1892. Thierry Manoncourt, later assisted by his wife, Marie–France, took great pains to renovate the vineyards in order to bring Figeac up to the level of the very greatest Bordeaux. Today, his daughter Laure and his son-in-law Count Eric d’Aramon have joined them in managing the estate, and perpetuating the family tradition. Figeac is located in the “Graves de Saint Emilion”. It has an unusual topography and outstanding terroir consisting of three gravelly outcrops. This explains why Figeac is the right bank wine chateau with the highest proportion of Cabernet grapes. It is a great but atypical wine, often called “the most Médoc of Saint Emilion wines”.

Please make sure that you have read the terms of this offer which are different from those on the main website. If you are unclear as to what is involved in primeur purchases please do contact our private client team via email or on 0207 221 1982.

Ordering

Prices are all in bond by the case size stated.

Pre-Orders are a firm commitment to buy wines on release, as long as the release price sits within the upper and lower price bands set by you on the pre-order form. Pre-orders will be fulfilled subject to availability but providing this firm commitment to buy effectively gives you priority and is a good idea for the most desirable wines.

Wines listed on the website can be ordered in the usual way via the website wishlist order form. You can also send orders directly to our private client team via email. Please note that, for the most sought after wines, priority will be given to those who ordered the same wines last year and to those that have pre-ordered.

Confirmation

All orders will be confirmed by email and are binding unless written cancellation is received within seven days of email confirmation. Pre-orders are not binding if the release price is above your upper price band.

Invoices are all raised at the in bond price (excluding any duty and VAT) which will become payable at the prevailing rates when the wines arrive in the UK, should you wish to take duty paid delivery.

Payment is required on sight of invoice, by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We regret we cannot accept credit cards for en primeur orders. We reserve the right to apply a dunning charge of 2% per month on invoices unpaid after 30 days.

Delivery

  • Shipment to our bond (at LCB Creek Road) and insurance are included in the in bond price.
  • Delivery is free to Lea and Sandeman / Elephant storage accounts, both duty paid and in bond.
  • Other deliveries (In Bond and Duty Paid) are also free subject to a minimum order from the offer of £500. Orders below this total will be charged an administration and handling fee of £16.50+ VAT when invoices are issued. We will group deliveries and this is a charge for your entire purchases, not a per-case charge.
  • Delivery of 2020 Bordeaux bought en primeur is expected during 2023. Delivery dates may vary as wines are shipped from Bordeaux at different times.
  • We do not anticipate any problems but please be aware that delays to delivery may occur should Britain's possible departure from the European Union result in additional border customs checks or other regulatory requirements. Any additional or unforeseen duties, tariffs, charges or other financial liabilities relating to 'Brexit' must be due to the customer and will be invoiced as required.

Practical notes - how it works

We start a sale in each customer's name and add all their primeur orders to one sale which is invoiced at the end of the campaign (or when the customer wishes). Immediate payment of invoices is then required by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We and our customers find that having a single invoice for the vintage is the simpler option but please note that confirmed orders are still binding even if the final invoice has not yet been issued.

Please specify on your wishlist order form where you would like the wines shipped on arrival in the UK. If this is to a third-party bonded warehouse, please specify the relevant account details. If the wines are required duty-paid we will issue a second invoice for duty and VAT at the prevailing rate when the wines are available for delivery.

Half-bottles, Magnums and larger bottles.

One of the additional advantages of buying en primeur is being able to order the wine in the format you want. While most of our listings are for 75cl bottles, we can source wines in any format if offered by the Château. Please note that format requests cannot be changed once wines have been invoiced. Additional charges for special formats do apply and are as follows:-

  • +£20 per case of 24 half-bottles
  • +£10 per case of 6 Magnums (2 bottles equivalent, 1.5 litres each)
  • +£35 per individually boxed Double Magnum (4 bottles equivalent, 3 litres)
  • +£50 per individually boxed Imperial (8 bottles equivalent, 6 litres) for Salmanazars, Balthazars, Nebuchadnezzars and Melchiors please enquire for availability and price.

Storage Options:

Wines bought en primeur won't arrive in the UK until 2023. If you do not wish to take home delivery at that point, you may wish to consider where you would like the wines shipped. Lea & Sandeman offers duty paid and in bond storage through a dedicated storage company called Elephant Storage. For more details on the terms and fees associated with storage please go to our Storage Homepage or contact our private client team for more information.