Sitting on the border with Pomerol, Ch. Figeac is a distinguished Saint-Emilion estate that produces some of the region's most sought-after wines. Officially classified as a Premier Grand Cru Classé "B", it is considered the strongest contender for promotion to the appellation's top division ("A").
The property had an history stretching back to Roman times, however the current guardians, the Manoncourt family, have been firmly installed for more than 125 years (arriving in 1892). The estate was once the largest in the region, at 200 hectares, but vineyards were gradually sold off (including to La Conseillante and Cheval Blanc).
Under Thierry Manoncourt, who arrived in 1946, the estate rose to prominence. He renovated the vineyards and cellar, introducing temperature-controlled stainless steel vats for fermentation (the first estate to do so on the Right Bank, in 1971). He was also among the first to introduce a second wine in 1945 (originally named La Grange Neuve de Figeac, renamed Petit-Figeac in 2012).
Until the late 2000s, quality had dipped at the estate, but that all changed with a suite of significant changes that have earned Figeac its position at the very top of the tree today.
Michel Rolland and Jean-Valmy Nicolas
were brought in as consultants, and then Frédéric Faye was installed as Managing Director in 2013. Since then, Figeac has gone from strength to strength. More Cabernet Sauvignon was planted, deemed better suited to their gravel soils, and the winery completely renovated to allow for more precision (finished in 2021).
Today the estate totals 54 hectares, with 41 under vine. The wine is unusual for its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc (each representing 35% of the plantings). It is typically very elegant, with the Cabernet lending both freshness and structure that is atypical for the Right Bank. While the Cabernet-dominant style means the wines can be more austere than some of their neighbours in youth, the wines age beautifully.
Production averages 120,000 bottles a year for the Grand Vin, with 40,000 of the second wine, Petit-Figeac.
Ch. Figeac owns two other estates in Saint-Emilion: Ch. la Fleur Pourret, a Grand Cru estate that it bought in 2002 and the tiny Ch. de Millery, a single-hectare property that has been described as the “Romanée-Conti of Saint-Emilion”.