Of the recent, highly-praised vintages in Bordeaux- 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010, only the 2005 vintage stands out for me as a truly great vintage on the Gironde, with the others masquerading power and overripe fruit as if it were true greatness in the making. However, 2005 is a completely different animal and this is really and truly a great year, but one that is built for the very long haul. It is very rare for a Bordeaux vintage to offer outstanding acidity and excellent ripeness in the same vintage (unless it is a pruney drought year like 2010, which is okay if one wants Amarone, rather than claret). The 2005 Figeac is a perfect example of just how great this vintage is on both sides of the Gironde, as it offers up a deep and stunning bouquet of black cherries, plums, dark chocolate, tobacco leaf, dark soil tones, woodsmoke and toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with lovely nascent complexity peeking out from behind its closed structure. The finish is very, very long, tangy and ripely tannic, with impeccable balance and enormous potential. A great Figeac and a great homage to the superb job that Éric d’Aramon did during his days at the helm here.
The tightrope stage of a wine as it shifts from young to mature, the tertiary notes coming to the fore are very welcome in its second decade, although it is perhaps just a little more evolved than I would expect. But this is stunning, there is so much hidden power, with layers of complex cedar, rose petal and soft woodsmoke. As it opens in the glass, the slight dryness on the finish becomes more apparent, but so does the sweet gentleness of this vintage. It can clearly still age for a good few decades, but would also be ready to drink with some decanting first. The 36hl/ha yield in this vintage is due mainly to the extremely dry summer. (JA)
Interesting aromas of cedar, tobacco, dark fruits, cinnamon, and cigar box. Full and solid, with chewy tannins. A very direct, straight, and pure wine with lovely freshness. This is starting to close, give this some time.
This is plush and warm in feel, with lots of currant and fig preserve flavors rolling through, inlaid with tobacco, warm stone and bittersweet cocoa notes. Shows a hefty dose of roasted alder on the finish, but in general this has been absorbed, making this a step ahead in terms of evolution, but there's no rush, as a racy iron streak is just starting to show up. (JM, Web-2018)
A silken, elegant Merlot, this has a youthful blue tinge to its color and luscious energy to its plummy fruit. It's bold and powerful, but it doesn't feel pushed. The pinpoint detail of the tannins provides a beautiful richness that expands with air. A touch exotic, that richness brings Kobe beef to mind, a match for this wine when it's had some time to mature.
The predominance of Cabernet Sauvignon in Figeac has won out in 2005. It shows in the delicious black currant fruits and very fresh, vibrant acidity. The tannins, curiously, are less apparent- maybe all that fruit overwhelms them. Only on the finish is there some austerity and firmness. (RV)
Good full medium ruby. The nose offers blackcurrant, licorice, graphite, violet, minerals and exotic spices. Broad, suave and fine-grained on the palate, with fleshy but sharply focused flavors of currant, minerals and tobacco. Finishes classically dry and very long. This is St. Emilion with Pauillac and Graves qualities-and a superb vintage for this chateau, whose wine is easy to underrate in the early going. (ST)
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