Bordeaux 2023: La Conseillante and Figeac

13 June 2024

Frederic Faye and Marielle Cazaux can be well pleased with their 2023s. La Conseillante and Figeac are amongst the most alluring wines of the vintage. Both are sumptuous and stylish, boasting the richness and depth of a solaire vintage with the refreshing qualities of a typical Atlantic influenced summer.

Situated just a minute’s drive from each other, both come from remarkably different terroirs. The singular gravel croups of Figeac have produced a wine of mineral soaked tension and right bank Cabernet brilliance, while the clays the Pomerol plateau at La Conseillante have given rise to a wonderful combination of pure, floral infused fruit and fine minerals, and a glorious velure texture supported by perfectly formed tannins. Different though they may be, these are two of the most luxuriant, refined and downright delicious wines we tasted. Unsurprisingly, they have been commended by all the major critics. La Conseillante has been awarded a 98-100 score from The Wine Advocate’s William Kelley, described as “one of the great wines of the vintage”. Figeac has also been lauded as “a brilliant classic in the making”. This glorious brace makes a fitting finale to the campaign.

La Conseillante

“One of the great wines of the vintage, and one that can rival its 2022 counterpart, the 2023 La Conseillante wafts from the glass with a strikingly floral bouquet of violets, lilac, raspberries, exotic spices, candied orange, pipe tobacco and rose petals. Medium to full-bodied, supple and fleshy, its textural attack segues into a layered and enveloping core of pure, vibrant fruit framed by sweet tannins and concluding with a long, precise finish. It's a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, some 30% of which is maturing in amphorae. Harvest began on September 7, lasting until October 2, block by block.”98-100 Points, William Kelley, Wine Advocate

“The 2023 La Conseillante was picked from September 7, with the final Cabernet Franc brought in on October 2 at 43hL/ha. There were just six days of picking over 3.5 weeks. Matured in 70% new oak, it has a very well-defined bouquet with black cherries, wild strawberries, touches of violet and a hint of crushed stone. The palate is medium-bodied with a captivating, edgy opening. Just slightly granular in texture thanks to the tannin structure, it’s very harmonious and poised, with a sophisticated, mineral-driven finish. This is an exceptional La Conseillante from Marielle Cazaux and her team. It will rank alongside the 2022 even if it is very different stylistically.”96-98 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous

Figeac

“A brilliant classic in the making, the 2023 Figeac unwinds in the glass with aromas of cassis and mulberry mingled with notions of iris, cigar wrapper, pencil shavings, burning embers and spices. Medium to full-bodied, rich and layered, it's deep and concentrated, with an enveloping core of fruit that's framed by powdery tannins and lively acids, concluding with a broad, atypically mineral finish. It's a blend of 41% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc and 27% Cabernet Sauvignon that attained 13.5% alcohol.”96-98 Points, William Kelley, Wine Advocate

“The 2023 Figeac was cropped at 45hL/ha from September 6 until October 5, one of the longest harvest periods ever. It matured in 100% new oak, as usual. My samples included the 5% vin de presse. This has a very perfumed bouquet: red fruit rather than black, iris flower rather than violet, light sous-bois and tobacco scents deriving from the Cabernets. The palate is medium-bodied, and the Cabernets really "sing" on the entry. Black fruit mixes with graphite and light tobacco notes, surging with fresh acidity and real brightness, or what the French call éclat. There’s gentle grip here—classic Figeac from start to finish, with a subtle marine influence toward the close. This will be a wonderful Saint-Émilion that ranks amongst the best wines of the vintage. Chapeau!”96-98 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous

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