Château La Tour Figeac, 2001

Packaging says a lot about a product.  Marketing people really understand that differentiating (demanding a higher price for) a high quality product requires an associated buying and unwrapping experience.  Nowhere is this more true than the world of wine.  The ceremony afforded to opening a bottle of wine is a marketing man’s dream.  I feel short changed if a wine is not “wrapped” according to its value.

The foil on the cap of this wine was reassuringly thick, I’ve seen lead flashing with less substance.  This is a good quality wine already…

Figeac went great with crispy duck but hold the plum sauce….

The bottle came from the Sunday Times Wine Club Presidents Cellar which averages about £20 per bottle.  I read the Château’s website with “interest” which is a euphemism for bewilderment.  It appears not to have been updated for several years.  It is clunky and unhelpful by today’s standards.  It describes the wine thus:

The complex bouquet is characterised by the intensive expression of black cherries and plums as well as red and black berries, and is completed by underlying hints of violets, eucalyptus and mint.
Notes of vanilla, coffee and spices, which are due to the ageing in new oak barrels, are already well integrated in the young wine and will add a slight sweet spiciness in time.

I don’t think I drank the same wine.  Mine smelt of cabbage.  It tasted powerful and intense but it was more vegetal than fruity.  There was smoke, figs and vanilla (hang on, were there really figs or was I influenced by the nomenclature?)  After settling in, I declared on stewed rhubarb and custard.  A serious wine that demands respect.  Very enjoyable but not as fruity as described by the makers.

At an unusually accurate 13.6% alcohol, it’s right on my sweet spot.  75% merlot should possibly bring more fruit to the table.  Maybe it is my taste buds that are out of kilter.  As I said this is a serious wine that demands respect…

7 Responses to “Château La Tour Figeac, 2001”

  1. Peter May Says:

    That is not ‘unusually accurate’; its not legal. EU requires ABV to be expressed to the closest .5% It’s a stupid law, but there it is.

    Re the Château’s website — as someone once famously retorted “Well they would say that, wouldn’t they”.

    The’re hardly likely to say the wine stinks 🙂

    But didn’t Laithwaites supply a tasting note? Did you agree with that?

  2. Alastair Bathgate Says:

    Illegal? Blimey I didn’t know that! I’ve double checked and the bottle definitely says 13.6%.

    As to tasting notes, I don’t read them for fear they will steer me. However, I have dug out the notes from STWC and it says “a classic Merlot aroma of rose petals, plum and cream toffee. It’s deliciously mouth filling with smooth, velvety fruit covering a structure of gentle tannins”.

    That doesn’t agree with me, or indeed the Château’s own website. I guess wine is a subjective matter of personal taste!

  3. Peter May Says:


    BTW, why is your photo on its side?

  4. Alastair Bathgate Says:

    I didn’t see it as on its side – that’s the way I took the photo. I guess we all see things differently. We are all a product of our own experiences and we bring these with us in life, to frame our interpretations. Likewise we all take different experiences away from wine.
    Or maybe I am talking b****cks and should leave art to artists, and thinking to philosophers.

  5. edward Says:

    What did you order from the local take away 🙂
    Sounds like dimethyl sulphide. . .

  6. Peter May Says:

    “i didn’t see it as on its side – I guess we all see things differently. ”

    I guess so. When I see a wine glass with wine in it, the surface of the wine is horizontal. In your picture its vertical.

  7. Alastair Bathgate Says:

    Edward, Interesting hypothesis. Maybe the second bottle will be a different experience? Oh, and Crispy Duck was the choice – rather good.

    Peter, LOL – yes I am often accused of having an odd outlook and certainly an unsteady view of the horizon.

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