SERIOUS Cru Beaujolais with cellaring potential, if you can restrain yourself not to drink now! It is no surprise that Château Thivin is the benchmark domaine of the Côte de Brouilly; everything about it is exceptional. Built in the fifteenth century on an ancient volcano which juts out steeply into the valley below, Thivin is the oldest estate on Mont Brouilly.
Thivin’s Côte de Brouilly parcels are predominantly south-facing and are planted entirely with Gamay vines that average 50 years of age. The soil is plowed and composted regularly while cover crops are left between some rows to encourage microbiotic activity. Absolutely no insecticides are used. On a slope with a grade of 48% and crumbly surface of blue volcanic rock comprised of plagioclase and biotite, implementing these techniques is essential to safeguard the soil from erosion, but it isn’t easy! Each section of the vineyard is harvested and vinified separately to preserve the unique characteristics afforded by variations in exposure and altitude. Traditional whole-cluster fermentation keeps the characteristic fruity qualities of Gamay, after which the grapes are transferred to cuves by gravity without being crushed. Each vintage spends a 6 months months in large oak foudres before bottling, The resulting wines, according to importer Kermit Lynch, resemble “…a country squire who is not afraid to get his boots muddy. Handsome, virile, earthy, and an aristocrat.”
“Bottled a mere week before I tasted it, Thivin’s 2019 Côte de Brouilly unwinds in the glass with inviting aromas of plums, red berries, warm spices and peonies. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and enveloping, it’s bright and precise, with fine depth at the core and real energy, concluding with a long, gently tannic finish. A touch finer-boned and more dynamic than the gourmand, demonstrative 2018, this is showing very well. 2021-2039.” – 93+ points, Wine Advocate (May 2020) – William Kelly
“This historic estate continues to rank among the reference points for classical, age-worthy cru Beaujolais, and the 2019 vintage is a great success here. As I wrote last year, the Geoffrays have banished herbicides and insecticides from their vineyards and number among the appellation’s most conscientious farmers, working toward organic certification. In the cellar, winemaking is traditional, with semi-carbonic maceration and élevage generally in foudre—though some small cuvées see a little new wood. A staple of France’s best restaurants—and this writer’s table—any readers who are not acquainted with these wines are warmly advised to seek them out. This year, the Brouilly Reverdon mentions special notice, as it has turned out particularly well.” – William Kelly
Unwinding and drinking great now! Our favorite with roasted whole chicken. As the temps warm up, it takes a slight chill beautifully which refreshes, but also accentuates enough tannin to pair with smoked and spice rubbed or bbq sauced pork ribs or chicken. The bright, spicy, dark cherry fruit is so inviting from first sniff to its finesse on the palate. This is again a top notch effort, and is such a wonderful “substitute” for expensive Burgundy. ES