Selected as a beautiful example of the wines from Pomerol, Chateau Franc Maillet is quite a find. Franc Maillet’s wines are the insider’s choice for good reason. Owned by Gerard Arpin, and his son Gael, the chateau sits in the Lieu Dit of Maillet not less than 400 metres from the famous vineyards of Petrus – one of the most sought after (and most expensive) wines in the world. The soils here are siliceous gravels and are celebrated for the wonderful wines they produce.
The estate was founded by Jean Baptiste Arpin, who returned from World War One and bought a hectare of vines with his life’s savings. Jean Baptiste prudently set about developing and expanding his holdings and today the family own 4 small properties in 4 different appellations: Pomerol, Lalande de Pomerol, Saint Emilion and Montagne Saint Emilion; with Chateau Franc Maillet being the jewel in their crown.
The vineyards are worked traditionally but the winery has benefited from much investment including installing ultra modern equipment. Focusing on quality of production the Arpins retain low yields to ensure plenty of richness and depth in their wines. Well respected for their good principles in wine making and well received by wine critics on the global stage, Franc Maillet is a little gem.
The chateau sits in the heart of the little Pomerol AOC. Pomerol may be a tiny appellation but it is renowned for its beautiful Merlot based wines; often described as hedonistic or exotic. Chateau Franc Maillet is a splendid discovery and deserves serious attention – the Lieu Dit Maillet is home to some truly marvellous artisan wines. Franc Maillet’s special Cuvee ‘Montille’ is a lovely wine to pair with food and marries extremely well with dark meats such as venison, steak, duck, lamb and pigeon. It also accompanies dishes in sumptuous sauces well, rich casseroles, goulash and spicy Indian cuisine.