Saint Emilion Chronicles #7, Part II: A Wine Tasting of Chateau Figeac 1988

Chateau Figeac 1988

Following our previous post about the history, estate, terroir and winemaking process at Chateau Figeac in Bordeaux’s Saint Emilion region, let’s now focus on my review of a bottle of their Grand Vin that I had an opportunity to taste: Chateau Figeac, Saint Emilion Grand Cru AOC, 1988 ($200).

The Bottom Line

Overall, the Chateau Figeac 1988 that I had was an outstanding, elegant wine: after 26 years of aging, it still performed flawlessly, offering a broad aromatic palette that unsurprisingly underscored tertiary aromas, but still presented fruity, secondary aromas to complement them. It still had enough acidity to keep it alive (although I would not wait much longer to drink it) and noticeable but gentle tannins, along with great smoothness – attaining a nice balance. It had pleasant and vivid mouth flavors of fruit and spices and a long finish. Outstanding!

Rating: Outstanding and Recommended Outstanding – $$$$$

(Explanation of our Rating and Pricing Systems)

About the Grapes, the Producer and the Estate

For plenty of information about Chateau Figeac, its history, estate, terroir and winemaking process, please refer to our previous post about it.

As to the grapes, Chateau Figeac’s quite unique Bordeaux blend is made up of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc and 30% Merlot. For detailed information about each of those grape varieties, check out our Grape Variety Archive or simply click on the hyperlinks of each of the three grape varieties above.

FRANCE, Saint Emilion
 – The stunning tasting room at Chateau Figeac (Premier Grand Cru Classé B)

Our Detailed Review

The wine that we are going to review today is Chateau Figeac, Saint Emilion Grand Cru AOC, 1988.

As mentioned in our previous post, Chateau Figeac is a Premier Grand Cru Classé “B” wine according to the 1955 classification of the wines of Saint Emilion (for more information about it, see our previous post providing a general overview of the Saint Emilion wine region and its wine classification system).

You can find very detailed information about how this wine is made in our previous post about Chateau Figeac.

The wine was 12.5% ABV and the proportions of the blend were 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc and 30% Merlot (for more information about those grape varieties, check out our Grape Variety Archive). In the U.S. available 1988 bottles retail for about $200, while in France they retailed for about €160. I decanted it for an hour before enjoying it.

As always, for my review I will use a simplified version of the ISA wine tasting protocol that we described in a previous post: should you have doubts as to any of the terms used below please refer to that post for a refresher. For your own structured wine tastings, consider downloading our FsT Wine Tasting Chart!

In the glass, the wine was garnet red and moderately viscous.

On the nose, its bouquet was intense, complex and fine, presenting a kaleidoscope of aromas: cherry, raspberry, tobacco, underbrush, wet soil, dried leaves, potpourri, herbs (sage, rosemary), cocoa, vanilla and black pepper.

In the mouth, the wine was dry, had medium ABV, and was smooth; it was still moderately acidic, tannic and tasty. It was medium bodied and wonderfully balanced, with intense and fine mouth flavors of cherry, dark chocolate, tobacco and rhubarb. It had a long finish and its evolutionary state was mature, meaning to be enjoyed now as it will decline if left to age much longer.

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0 thoughts on “Saint Emilion Chronicles #7, Part II: A Wine Tasting of Chateau Figeac 1988

  1. Dina

    What a lovely room! I’d love to try this outstanding wine. Not for my budget, but it sounds like heaven. Great article, Stefano. Lucky you to get the chance to taste it. You deserve it!
    All the best from the Four of us,
    Dina xo

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, Dina! Isn’t that tasting room gorgeous??? I’m glad you enjoyed the read and hope that you will get to taste that wine as it really is very good, but then again there is so much great wine out there even at a fraction of the cost of a bottle of Chateau Figeac that you certainly have many options to drink well and be happy! 🙂
      A big hug to you all!

    1. Stefano Post author

      Well, yeah… I was in senior high 🙂

      Isn’t that tasting room beyond awesome??? I could live there too, sipping their wine by the fireplace with Sofia napping by my feet… Oh well… 🙂

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you for your kind comment, Julien: you are absolutely right, unusually for St Emilion, Figeac has a blend that has Cab S, Cab F and Merlot in almost equal proportions. Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

    1. Stefano Post author

      My friend, unfortunately I only had one 1988 – I have more that we can enjoy together, but it’s a couple decades younger 🙂 I have a couple interesting options for our dinner though… 😉