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New Figeac chief pledges ‘no style change’ following Eric d’Aramon departure

In the wake of the sudden departure of longstanding Chateau Figeac director Eric d'Aramon, the new managing director has said that the style of the wine will be respected by consultant Michel Rolland.

Eric d’Aramon has left Figeac after 25 years

d’Aramon, who had been at Figeac since 1988, when he first started working for his father-in-law, owner Thierry Manoncourt, left the St Emilion Grand Cru Classe in March, along with his wife Laure, who is one of owner’s three daughters, and children.

Manoncourt’s widow Marie-France Manoncourt wrote to negociants on March 20. The letter, which Decanter.com has seen, said simply that Frederic Faye, who has been at Figeac for 10 years, had been appointed director ‘au terme du mandat d’Eric d’Aramon’ – at the termination of his contract. No mention was made of his 25 years’ service.

Friends of the former director have expressed dismay at the abruptness of his departure. ‘It’s a very sad business,’ said one veteran member of the Bordeaux trade.

In reply to concerns by Figeac aficionadoes that Rolland might alter the wine’s style – based on a unique blend in Saint Emilion of one-third each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot – Faye told Decanter.com, ‘Michel Rolland understands the challenge of the three grapes,’ and that he ‘will not alter the nature of Figeac.’

His ‘reference’ is Figeac 2010, Faye said, a wine which ‘for Rolland, is one of the greatest Figeacs ever made.’

On taking on the consultancy of the St Emilion grand cru classe, Rolland told Decanter.com his aim was to ensure the promotion of the property from ‘B’ grade to the coveted ‘A’ grade, alongside Chateau Angelus, Ausone, Cheval Blanc and Pavie.

Faye became vineyard manager in 2008 before being promoted to technical director in 2010. He said that a decision was made to find a consultant when former Figeac consultat Gilles Pauquet left the chateau in December last year.

Faye says that all members of the family are ‘getting along well’ and that d’Aramon and his family ‘are very busy with their new property in Grezillac in Entre-deux-Mers, Chateau de Mouchac.’

Eric d’Aramon told Decanter.com he had no comment. It is understood he is speaking to no-one about the situation.

Written by Panos Kakaviatos and Adam Lechmere in Bordeaux

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