I’ll start here by giving a little context to our rather dramatic subject line, by quoting Decanter Magazine’s Bordeaux Correspondent Jane Anson, when she describes Château Figeac’s managing director Frederic Faye as “looking after the day-to-day needs of Figeac and the estate’s two sister properties, Château la Fleur Pourret and Château de Millery (a one-hectare clay-limestone plot which they call ‘the Romanée Conti of Saint Emilion’)”
That’s just one single hectare, planted to 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. More the size of a large garden than a notable vineyard, so it’s no surprise that I’ve also seen this referred to as Château Figeac’s “Jardin Sécret” or “Secret Garden”. The property was purchased in 1947 by the owners of Figeac, the Manoncourt family. Thierry Manoncourt (who passed away in 2010) was said to be utterly captivated by it, and kept the production for consumption only by family and friends, which is probably exactly what I’d do if I owned the one hectare Romanée Conti of St Émilion!
Production is miniscule, about 300 cases annually. So although this has now just about started to creep out into the market (although only really in France), you’re never going to see a lot of it. Buy three cases and you’ll be drinking 1% of the total production!
Finally, don’t underestimate the 2012 vintage, which was particularly strong on the right bank in St Émilion and Pomerol, receiving a rating equal to the legendary 2009 in the Wine Advocate’s vintage chart. This is one of those wines that none of the critics have got to, so you’re going to have to take our word for it. This kind of pedigree, history, and price tag do not often combine - buy buy buy!
2012 Château de Millery, St Émilion Grand Cru, $37.99 NET
Lush and supple, with a mineral backbone, this wine really overdelivers, with pure fruit freshness paired with earthy, savory undertones. A gorgeous wine that deserves to be much more well known, but which we hope will remain squarely under the radar!