Château La Tour du Pin Figeac
A winery in Bordeaux, France: One of the world's most prestigious wine regions
If you are interested in very fine Bordeaux with a fascinating pedigree that is often overlooked by many, Château La Tour du Pin Figeac is a marvelous opportunity to enjoy first class red Bordeaux. Origin can be traced back to the second century when it was owned by a Roman notable named Figeacus. Over the centuries the Figeac estate grew and shrank, which explains the number of estates that to this day incorporate its name. Château La Tour du Pin Figeac came into existence in 1879 and lies between two famed Châteaux, Cheval Blanc and Figeac.
When St. Emilion was classified in 1955, La Tour du Pin Figeac was given Grand Cru Classé status, the area’s second highest award. It maintains that status today, only one of a handful of wineries that are in the classified categories. The Château La Tour du Pin Figeac entered the family Belivier when it was purchased in 1923 by Gerard Belivier, uncle of the current master of the house (Stephane Giraud). Mr. Belivier gave it to his brother Lucien Giraud (Stephane’s father) in 1972.
The property is planted to 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, a normal ratio for vineyards in St. Emilion.The grapes are hand harvested and the resultant juice is placed in new oak barrels (2/3) and in older wood (1/3).
Map of the area
A History of Bordeaux Wines
The French wine-growing region of Bordeaux was, is, and always will be the cornerstone of great French wine production. Many of the estates can trace their wine heritage back for centuries due to a strategic fact - the citizens of Bordeaux supported the French Revolution at the end of the 18th Century. In comparison, Bordeaux’s nearest rival, Burgundy, was home to many noble families and supported the French King Louis XVI. After the revolution, the great vineyards of Burgundy were cut up and divided among those who supported the revolution while Bordeaux’s marvelous estates were left intact.
Bordeaux’s greatness can also be traced to its main grape, the incredible Cabernet Sauvignon. This prized varietal is favored for its high acidity, which in turn allows for greater wine longevity. Wines that age gently and eventually produce a nectar-like substance are highly valued and command great respect from the wine industry’s top international wine periodicals. Tastings of rare old Bordeaux Châteaux are always big news and are eagerly awaited by wine connoisseurs and aficionados alike.
Bordeaux is also a huge growing area and houses just under 9,000 wine estates and wineries, by far the largest accumulation of wine producers in France. About 75% of Bordeaux’s wine production is red, the remainder is white.
A unique classification of quality occurred in 1855 and has remained largely intact since that time. Additional classifications (Graves, actually Pessac-Leognan, in 1953 and St. Émilion in 1954) helped further define quality levels in those interior growing areas.
While prices for the upper levels of French Bordeaux have soared in recent decades (thanks mostly to buying from the Asian markets), there is still a perceived value for many basic French Bordeaux reds and some of the Petite Châteaux. Many of these estates have received rave reviews on their wines and have continually scored high in international competitions. Today, it is considered great sport to find and enjoy great French Bordeaux that are hidden within the expanse of Bordeaux’s seemingly endless supply of wine.
When you consider price/value in purchasing Bordeaux, then it becomes a no-brainer to seek out a heretofore unheard of wine for its great value.
There continue to be many adventures still available in today’s wine world, and Bordeaux is still a virtual wine sea of possibilities for anyone interested in classically grown and produced wine. A visit to the magical city and its environs is an endearing experience that should not be missed. The City of Bordeaux is charming in itself with a plethora of new restaurants that cater to wine-devotees from all over the world.
Wine Regions of Bordeaux, France
The world renowned Bordeaux region of France is located in the southwestern corner of the country, just miles away from the Atlantic coast. The Gironde Estuary and its two major rivers, the Dordogne and the Garonne, run through the heart of the region and help define its maritime climate of hot, dry summers and rather mild winters.
Bordeaux is the largest controlled winegrowing region in France, home to over 10,000 producers and the artisan of nearly 70 million cases of wine each vintage. It is a region based on "banks" - left bank or right bank, with a distinguished collection of grape varieties, well-honed traditions, and strict classification systems. Bordeaux is home to some of the world's most sought-after and expensive wines, and is known as one of the most prestigious wine regions of our time.