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Château Figeac vertical: Extraordinary vintages

Jane Anson delves into the distant past of this famous St-Émilion estate, tasting 19 select vintages stretching back as far as 1949...

St-Émilion is a place where, set among the limestone splendour and the centuries-old traditions, change and division are never far from the surface.

Château Figeac perhaps exemplifies this more than any other estate, sat somewhere between icon of the appellation and its most high-profile exception.

Located towards the Pomerol borders, Figeac has largely gravelly soils – up to seven metres in depth on parts of the plateau – where most of the appellation is famous for its limestone and clays.

This means that although Merlot accounts for around 80% of the appellation’s vineyard, at Figeac it makes up less than half the blend, outgunned by a combination of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

And although for many decades the estate was seen as a bastion of tradition under late owner Thierry Manoncourt, the past five years have been marked by a rapid series of changes.

Scroll down to see Jane’s tasting notes from the Figeac vertical tasting