In 2015 we posited that ‘Figeac is a wine to start stocking up on now for several reasons.’ Firstly that the changing of the guard from Robert Parker to Neal Martin in Bordeaux would put Figeac on a compelling upward trajectory. Figeac had always had a strong following amongst global collectors, though Robert Parker had notoriously under-marked Figeac, rarely awarding it above 90 points, while it was afforded strong accolades by other leading critics. Since 2016 Figeac has averaged 96.5 points from The Wine Advocate and 97.5 from Vinous Media this includes two wines of the vintage and the perfect scoring 2016!
However, our main driver for projecting the growth was that after the 2012 re-classification, 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 since missing out the owners have become singularly focused on achieving Grand Cru Classe A status. They first 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, since 2015 it has outscored its peers and been a contender for wine of the vintage in three out of four vintages. Since this prediction the last 11 vintages prior to the 2016 release (2005–2015) have seen their prices increase 45% over two years. The Liv-ex 100 has increased 14% percent over the same period, with Figeac outperforming the market impressively. Moreover, the average release price has increased 67% from 2015 onwards.
St. Emilion Classification 2022 Offers an Opportunity
The next Classification of St. Emilion will take place in 2022. The expectations and current rumours in Bordeaux are that Figeac is expected to join Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angelus and Pavie as a St. Emilion Grand Cru Classe A, it is currently B. It has the pedigree, established historically as one of the oldest and most prestigious St. Emilion Estates, every bit as much as the other four. Figeac originates from an ancient Estate which heralds from the 2nd century, at which time a Gallo-Roman villa was built on the site; this was named Figeacus. The Romans were well known for selecting the most promising terroir to use for their sacred vines and this is true with Figeac. The soil is bountiful in gravel, which explains its higher propensity to grow brilliant Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Renaissance In Effect
The quality of recent vintages re-establishes the exceptional quality of the wines, moving it in line with the other four. Moreover, release prices continue to increase in line with quality and demonstrating the market recognises and is willing to pay leading prices. Since their reclassification in 2012 Angelus increased 56% from an average six pack price of £1,050 per case of six to £1,670, while Pavie rose 45% from £978 to £1,422. This promises that as we approach the classification Figeac will continue its price rise as people further speculate in anticipation.
|Wine||Average WA Score Since 2015||Average Vinous Score Since 2015||Average Price Since 2015|
This value is further underpinned when looking at the average trading prices for all vintages. Six bottles of Angelus currently averages £1,668 and Pavie £1,422, 94% and 66% higher than the £868 average price of Figeac. We project the reclassification would result in a minimum of a 50% increase in price once Figeac achieves Grand Cru Classe A status. This would see its average trading price per case of six move to between £1,250 to £1,300 per six.
2015 and 2016 – Their Greatest Ever
However, since the great changes began with the 2014 vintage and that 2015 and 2016 are the two greatest modern physical offerings, we have selected these. Indeed, sourcing this parcel has been rather difficult, Figeac produce less than 10,000 cases a year and have very little library stock, historically releasing its entire production on release. This is also good news as supply is very limited.
As can be seen from the table below, which contains modern Figeac vintages scoring above 94 points, the 2015 stands out in price. It has been awarded 97+ points from The Wine Advocate, its joint highest ever, while also achieving 97 points from Neal Martin and James Suckling. It costs £170 less per case of six than the 2016 and £286 less than the 2018. Indeed, it is also £275 and £50 cheaper than the 2010 and 2009 respectively, however outscores both comfortably. It is superbly placed to rise short-term in line with the aforementioned vintages, which have an average price of £970, offering an 18% discount to its value trading point, irrespective of future re-classification.
The 2016 is otherworldly and has been awarded 100 points from Neal Martin of Vinous Media. Martin declares that ‘this is a classic Figeac, up there with the 1947 and 1949’ he goes on to say that ‘Faye believes it is the best Figeac he has ever made. He is correct.’ Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate awards it the same score as the 2015, with 97+ points. Indeed, with 100 points it is the highest scoring wine of the top five St. Emilions, outstripping Ausone which has 99 points and trades at £3,750 per case of six, the 98 point scoring Cheval Blanc, which trades at £2,900, the 98 point scoring Pavie trades at £1,650 and Angelus with 96 points trades at £1,600. Priced today at £970 per case of six, Figeac 2016 offers an exceptional proposition. It is one of the greatest wines from one of the greatest vintages ever and a future legend.
As such, Figeac 2015 and 2016 are the stand out wines to own from Figeac, to grace any cellar for decades and provide immense pleasure. They are also set for further aggressive price appreciation, irrespective of Figeac achieving Grand Cru Classe A status in 2022. However, with that event on the horizon, collectors need to move quickly. After all, there are five first growths, since Mouton Rothschild was promoted in 1973. It is elegant symmetry for the right bank to have the equivalent and it was only down to a run of bad years that Figeac wasn’t confirmed in 2012 – those in the know expect 2022 to put this right.
We are offering the 2015 for £800 per case of six and the 2016 for £970. They do belong together, so we are offering a discount to £1,750 for a case of each. If you don’t own them, now is the time, if you own one or both already, we advise doubling up!
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