- The 2020 is the standout vintage on the Figeac curve.
- Currently has 96-98+ points from Wine Advocate. An ‘in bottle’ score at the high end of the band would make 2020 the highest scoring Figeac of all time. Next best score is the 1949 vintage.
- Château Figeac is newly promoted to the highest Right Bank status: Premier Grand Cru Classé A.
- Only Château Figeac and Château Pavie now hold this highest Saint-Émilion rating (Ausone, Angélus and Cheval Blanc have left the classification).
- Despite all the new acclaim, Figeac still lags its neighbours in price terms. However, the signs are clear that this is now being corrected in the market. Time to buy before it is too late?
Figeac 2020 – The Standout on the Figeac Price/Score Curve:
Figeac 2020 has the most compelling score to price ratio of any Figeac vintage (at the higher end of the current range). An upper band score of 98+ would see Figeac 2020 leap 2018 as the highest scored modern vintage.
The implied ‘fair value’ of a 98 point score is GBP 1,290 per 6x75cl (equivalent to HK$12,435/ SG$2,157), 20% higher than the current price of GBP 1,075 per 6x75cl (equivalent to HK$10,225/ SG$1,784).
The 2020 Vintage is Flying Under the Radar
The market is yet to wake up to the full potential of Figeac 2020. The 2020 vintage is currently in “en primeur no-man’s land”. This means that the 2020 is neither the latest vintage, nor a physical vintage that is being sought by early drinkers.
The 2020 vintage is expected to be shipped and enter the market physically from Spring 2023 to late Autumn.
We anticipate that we will see additional price catalysts from the vintage becoming physical and the ‘in bottle’ tastings that will follow.
The ‘In Bottle’ Score Could be the Vital Price Catalyst
The key to the price re-rating which we expect will be Wine Advocate’s ‘in bottle’ rating. The en primeur range of 96-98+ gives plenty of room for a positive surprise.
We expect an in bottle Wine Advocate score sometime beteen March/April 2023 in advance of the 2022 en primeur campaign.
If Figeac 2020 does get 98 points or above (Wine Advocate), that will put it in rarefied company indeed. Only the Figeac 1949 has scored at this level:
Figeac’s Long Journey to ‘Top Rated’ Status
Château Figeac has been on a long journey towards the pinnacle of Saint-Émilion production.
The château has invested a great deal of money in improving the quality and price point of their wines. Since 2009, Figeac has replanted 30% of its vineyard area and built a brand new winery.
The results are as clear as they are startling. After feeling aggrieved at being overlooked for promotion to Premier Grand Cru Classé A in 2012, Figeac finally reaped the rewards of 10 years of hard work in 2022 when it was finally promoted to the top Premier Grand Cru Classé A rating.
Since replanting the vineyard in 2009, Figeac has scored an average score of 95 points (2010-2020), whilst the preceding 10 vintages got only an average score of 90 points. This is clear evidence of the seismic shift in quality which has occurred at the estate.
The château’s pricing ambitions were demonstrated by the 2021 vintage being released at a 5% premium to 2020 despite a lower score. The days of Figeac giving away its 10,000 cases en primeur are long gone, and this will only put further upwards pressure on top back vintages (like 2020).
Château Figeac Relative Outperformance over Saint-Émilion Neighbours
Historically, high scoring Figeac vintages tend to outperform rivals from neighbouring estates on the secondary market. Although past performance is not always indicative of future results, it is certainly encouraging for Figeac 2020 which may see one of the best Wine Advocate scores of all time. We have compared the 2015 vintage as this vintage also has the same mid band score as Figeac 2020.
Although Ausone, Cheval Blanc and Angélus are no longer categorised as Premier Grand Cru Classé A estates, they serve as a good indicator for the potential to which Figeac can reach over the coming years as a result of their promotion.
Château Figeac has clearly been on an upward trajectory with their scores and release pricing.
Figeac still trades at a whopping discount to its illustrious neighbours and we think long-term accumulation of the best back vintages is currently one of the smartest plays in Bordeaux portfolio management.