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February 20, 2017

2014 Bordeaux Re-Score: Figeac

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Following our re-score releases yesterday, we are delighted to be able to offer the stunning Figeac 2014, which James Suckling and Antonio Galloni have both rescored to 96 points. As such, the 2014 offers superb quality vs price for £430 per case of six or £860 per case of 12. When one considers the price of the other leading St Emilion wines such as; Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angelus and Pavie, which all cost £250 per bottle, £71 looks miss-priced by the market.

Figeac is a wine to start stocking up on now for several reasons. Firstly, the changing of the guard from Robert Parker to Neal Martin in Bordeaux has put Figeac on a compelling upward trajectory. Figeac has always had a strong following amongst global collectors, with its incredible complexity and nuance deriving from the special blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (35%), Cabernet Franc (35%) and Merlot (30%). However, Robert Parker notoriously under-marked Figeac, rarely awarding it above 90 points, while it was afforded strong accolades by other leading critics. Rumours abounded that he had fallen out with the Director Eric d’Aramon. This culminated in him not reporting on a vintage of Figeac since 2008. In 2013, Figeac missed out on being reclassified along with Pavie and Angelus to St.Emilion Grand Cru Classe A. Figeac has always been one of the finest St.Emilion wines and the owners are now intent on it achieving Grand Cru Classe A status. They took measures to achieve this by installing Frederic Faye as the Managing Director, who brought in Michel Rolland as a consultant. Enter a new great era.

The difference starting in 2014 has been superb, the mid-palate, complexity and fruit concentration now competes with Angelus and Pavie. As the new Sheriff in town, Martin returned the Wine Advocate to Figeac in 2014 and awarded the vintage 93-95 points from barrel, he followed this by giving it 97-99 in 2015. The 2014s have aged brilliantly in barrel and Figeac will be a stunning wine in bottle. Antonio Galloni states ‘The 2014 Figeac is shaping up to be a real jewel of a wine… Figeac is one of the stars of the vintage.’  As such we can expect a special re-score from Neal Martin.

A result of Parker’s relationship with Figeac means its similar scores in older vintages are comparably low. It therefore means the new vintage releases, namely the 2014 and 2015, look qualitatively undervalued compared to older vintages. This is naturally driving up the prices on release, which in turn is moving the older vintages upward. Since the release of Figeac during en primeur 2014 last year, the average price of the last 10 vintages has risen by 36%. In fact, Figeac is a superb performer from barrel, the same 10 vintages have returned 43% since their respective releases. This average is driven down by the poor performance of the 2009 and 2010 on release, although even these, unlike most wines from these vintages are showing a small profit. It is notable also that the 2009 and 2010 have 94 and 95 points from the Wine Advocate. An in bottle score of 95 points from Martin in bottle in June, which we can expect, or even better would make the 2014 hugely undervalued; the 2009 trades at £1,780 and the 2010 £1,920. The production in 2014 was 10,000 cases and the blend is 40% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Cabernet Franc.

Figeac JS WA Price 2017 Price 2015 Release Price
2015 97-98 97-99 £1,450 n/a £1,100
2014 96 93-95 £860 £575 £575
2013 92 91 £690 £525 £530
2012 93 93 £750 £550 £525
2011 93 90 £830 £700 £750
2010 98 95 £1,920 £1,275 £1,800
2009 96 94 £1,780 £1,400 £1,700
2008 92 90 £900 £630 £495
2007 n/a 85 £860 £665 £500
2006 n/a 91 £950 £660 £480
2005 95 90 £1,500 £940 £650
2004 n/a 90 £880 £815 £325

Chateau Figeac is one of the oldest properties in Bordeaux, dating back to the 2nd Century under the Gallo-Roman Empire when a man named Figeacus built his villa on the site. It is unknown whether he planted a vineyard, but given that Figeacus was Roman and that the ruins of an ancient water supply system still remain visible point to the fact that the great terroir of Figeac was recognized nearly two thousand years ago. It is therefore one of the principle great St.Emilion estates and feels that it should have been promoted along with Pavie and Angelus. It is once again competing with them in terms of critic scores and while the average case price has increased, it looks like this is the beginning of a trend which should be taken advantage of for drinkers and investors alike. It is time to stock up on this truly great Chateau.

Figeac 2014, 12×75 – £860 IB

96 Points, James Suckling
The aromas of blackcurrants and fresh forest floor are evocative. Oyster shells and stones. Turns to blackcurrants. Medium to full body and firm and silky tannins that are polished and coat your mouth. The palate is ever dense and concentrated. Needs four to five years to open but already a beautiful red.

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