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Average critic rating : 87.0 points
The 2012 Aloxe-Corton Village comes from two parcels, one adjacent to Les Fichots and another close to the winery of Maurice Chapuis, Franck’s 0.7-hectares of vines planted somewhere around the 1960s. This has an open, generous bouquet with touches of leather infusing the vibrant red berry fruit. The palate is soft and fleshy, very well-balanced with nicely judged acidity. It does not possess the structure to merit long-term aging, but its approachable and charming nature means that it will give much pleasure over the next three of four years. ||I became familiar with Domaine Follin-Arbelet in the village of Aloxe-Corton, around a decade ago at the London Burgundy tastings, though this was the first time I had visited the domaine. It is a traditionally run estate, the barrel cellar beneath the grand maison built in the 1760s with the entrance headroom built for the vertically challenged. The cellars are deep and colder than others. I had to warm up my hands afterwards so that I could continue typing my notes. I met with winemaker Franck Follin-Arbelet, whose brother runs Bouchard Pere, one of Burgundy’s amiable but more self-effacing, unassuming vignerons that quietly goes about his business with his wife Christine. He grew up amongst the local vines, although his family opted for metayage agreements rather than making wines themselves, leaving time for the young Franck to study geology. His father-in-law, Andre Masson, used to make the wines for the Hospice de Beaune and owned parcels of vines around Aloxe-Corton. Franck joined his company in 1990 and when Andre retired took over the running of the domaine. I began by asking his impression of the 2012 growing season. “The 2012 vintage had difficult condition during flowering. It was small harvest with good maturity. It was ‘demi-recolte’ between 35 and 50% down depending on site. We lost up to 25% of the crop due to grillure. We started the harvest on the 20th of September and it took around 6½ days to harvest. We de-stemmed around 80 to 85% of the crop.” These are elegant refined expressions of Pinot Noir, even if their sole white almost stole the show. My own wallet would be heading straight towards the superb Clos du Chapitre in Aloxe-Corton – a regular performer down the years. Alternatively, head up the slope to the pair of Corton grand crus that are refined and elegant. The crown jewel Romanee-Saint-Vivant was perhaps not showing its best when I tasted it, the malolactics incomplete, but personally the excellent Corton-Bressandes will do the same job without quite the same “label cache.” eRobertParker.com.December, 2013
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