THE ROMANÉE-CONTI of SAINT-ÉMILION
For many years, the trade has been aflush with rumors of the exceptional Château Figeac as the heir apparent to the Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé A (the elite group of Saint-Émilion estates that incudes Angelus, Pavie, Cheval Blanc, and Pavie). For years, we had also heard rumors of a particularly special bottling from a tiny sister property of Figeac's estate, Château de Millery. The Manoncourt family had kept this wine a secret from the press until about a decade ago, when the family began releasing small amounts of this single hectare parcel planted in 1947. I will repeat, ONE SINGLE HECTARE. This is less of a vineyard and more a garden, an idea is only reinforced by the anecdotes that the family refers to it as their Jardin Sécret. Only about 300 six-pack cases are produced each year, making it one of Bordeaux's most scarce wines. Furthermore, most of this scant production is kept for friends and family. Stylistically, it shares Figeac's heady, but steady, hedonism, but returns to a more classic Saint-Émilion assemblage, with 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. De Millery is old school and perfumed, and is reminiscent of the 1980s and early 1990s styles of the Right Bank before consultant culture blasted the wines with 200% New Oak and late picking. This is a wine of pure and total finesse for the lovers of classic Right Bank wines like Nenin or Vieux-Chateau-Certan. The dark red fruit, lifted floral, fennel and resinous spice notes detail and adorn the wine's silky structure like a watercolor. This is a parcel of pristine provenance direct from Bordeaux.