October 2017—Our 45th Anniversary!
Franck Follin-Arbelet bottles a pure, unadulterated expression of Aloxe-Corton’s terroir. Only a few lucky growers work this holy plot, a small clos in front of the Aloxe church in the center of town. Franck’s style brings out its charms and presence faithfully. His reds ferment naturally in old wooden vats, and are then racked by gravity into barrel for a long and patient élevage in the domaine’s deep, cool cellar. With a total purity of flavor enhanced by subtle hints of earth, Clos du Chapitre graces the palate with the utmost finesse. While still tightly wound, its sensuous texture and silky-fine tannins impart a graceful, ethereal harmony to the wine. Follin’s wines are le vrai Pinot, one of the holy grails for wine lovers, Pinot as it can only be produced here in Burgundy.
Having grown up in Burgundy’s famous Côte d’Or, Frank Follin-Arbelet was always attracted to viticulture, but his family’s vines were all rented out to métayeurs (share croppers), and they did not make their own wine. In 1990, when the opportunity came to join his father-in-law’s domaine in Aloxe-Corton, Franck jumped at the chance and in 1993, after André retired, and Franck took over the direction of the domaine. Franck and his wife Christine are fortunate to produce one village wine, four premier crus, and four grand crus in Aloxe-Corton (their hometown), Pernand-Vergelesses, and Vosne-Romanée. When asked what inspires him the most, Franck responded, “wine that represents its terroir and a job well done.”
Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch