Vintage 1971

Château-Figeac certainly produced one of the great Bordeaux wines of this rather overlooked vintage, though excellent on the Right Bank.
The wine has a fine brickish hue. Subtle notes of blond tobacco, cinnamon, caramel and mint leaf mingle pleasantly on the very appealing and complex nose. The wine is silky on the palate and very rich. Succulent blackcurrant and ripe cherry flavours impart great elegance to this Château-Figeac 1971. The velvet finish is very long.

By late 1971, Château-Figeac needed more space. Thierry Manoncourt embarked on an ambitious project to build a new, 2,500-m² winery with 6 large vaulted cellars at a depth of 7 metres, a large barrel hall of quarried stone, the third vat-house in the Bordeaux region after Haut-Brion and Latour to be equipped with stainless-steel vats, large French windows giving onto the vines and a special room for welcoming visitors. A new bottling line was installed beneath the underground vaults, the wine being gravity-fed to the bottling line. The architect was Jacques Lhuillier, a close friend, who in 1963 with Henry Bernard had designed the Maison de la Radio, a monument of modernity. At the time, the scale of these transformations and innovations earned Mr Manoncourt a newspaper article referring to him as “a Pharaoh at Saint-Emilion”.

The works were also an opportunity to see the subsoil strata at Figeac: age-old gravel mixed with a little sand, the vines which thrust their roots 7 or 8 metres down through quartz and silex in search of water, the beautiful blue clay at depth… When construction work on the new facility began in 2018, digging down 14 metres, it was with the same jubilation that we admired the subsoil, the basis of Figeac’s fabulous terroir…

Château-Figeac certainly produced one of the great Bordeaux wines of this rather overlooked vintage, though excellent on the Right Bank.
The wine has a fine brickish hue. Subtle notes of blond tobacco, cinnamon, caramel and mint leaf mingle pleasantly on the very appealing and complex nose. The wine is silky on the palate and very rich. Succulent blackcurrant and ripe cherry flavours impart great elegance to this Château-Figeac 1971. The velvet finish is very long.

Vintage report

Everything was late in 1971. The first stages of the vegetation cycle were very wet, especially during flowering, resulting in very low yields. Hot, humid conditions in July increased the threat of grape diseases but a magnificent late season, with perfect conditions in August and September, came just in time to save the vintage.

Varietal mix

- 30% merlot
- 35% cabernet franc
- 35% cabernet sauvignon

Harvest

from 4 to 13 October

The wine was the inspiration for a 1986 sketch by the French comedian Pierre Desproges, still used in 2019 by the actor Christian Gonon, a friend of the Manoncourt family, in his show at the Comédie-Française Studio Theatre, La seule certitude que j’ai, c’est d’être dans le doute [My Only Certainty is that I Am in Doubt].

Wine cabinet

With epithets like “unforgettable”, “sublime” or “outstanding”, some wines define our tastes in the same way as certain dates overturn our lives…
Like members of the same family, necessarily different yet necessarily close, each vintage of Château-Figeac is the reflection of a year which tells a whole story… It is one of the great riches of our wines, closely linked to the irreplaceable terroir and the choices made by the winemaker.
In our wine cabinet, we recount a selection of vintages, each with its own story. If you are curious about another vintage, please ask us…

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