Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly 2015


SKU 03700



We tasted and positively loved this iconic Beaujolais from the Côte de Brouilly. Imported by French wine specialist Kermit Lynch, serving a bottle of this wine is a classic lesson in the great Gamay-based wines of the Beaujolais region, and Côte de Brouilly specifically. We quote from Kermit's website for the full and wonderful story

'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. Even more important, however, is its tremendous success since farmer Zaccharie Geoffray purchased the château with its two hectares of land at auction in 1877. His son Claude expanded the property over the next few decades, and his son, also named Claude, boosted the prestige of the zone in the face of the Great Depression when he played a pivotal role in the creation of the Côte de Brouilly appellation. With his wife Yvonne, he also helped to bring greater recognition to the entire region with the establishment of the Maison du Beaujolais in 1953. Over the years the family continued to promote the appellation, receiving many influential artists and journalists at the château. The French novelist, Colette, wrote admiringly of her visit to Thivin. In 1976, Richard Olney brought Kermit Lynch to visit the estate on their first wine trip together. It was Olney’s top recommendation in all of Beaujolais. The current generation of the Geoffray family continues their tradition. Today their grandnephew Claude, his wife Evelyne, and their son Claude-Edouard continue the tradition as staunch and proud defenders of the terroir of the Côte de 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, 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. Even the estate’s vineyards in the Brouilly appellation are planted on a moderately steep hillside of decomposed pink granite, while most of the appellation is planted on the flat valley floor. 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 few months in large oak foudres before bottling. The resulting wines, according to Kermit, resemble “…a country squire who is not afraid to get his boots muddy. Handsome, virile, earthy, and an aristocrat.”

From the Wine Advocate:
"The good thing about visiting Château Thivin with only a sketchy idea of its location is that you can just head for a large, hilly-shaped object (the Côte de Brouilly) and circle it a few times and you are bound to finally locate the 16th century château. Like last year, I also met with Cédric Chignard in order to taste his own wines and also those of Jean Foillard, also “in the house,” for a representation of Kermit Lynch’s Beaujolais producers. Claude-Edouard Geoffray, who may possibly resemble Daniel Radcliffe/Harry Potter even more than last year, has cast his magic wand over recent releases from Château Thivin and, in my humble opinion, produced some absolute classics from around Côte de Brouilly. “I was surprised by the freshness of the 2015,” he told me as we sat down to taste. “We had more concentration than maturity but the wines were also rich with acidity. We started the picking on 28 August and finished on 9 September. The harvest was fast, almost too fast. Because of the dryness there were not a lot of leaves and this made it easy for the pickers. There was hardly any sorting that needed to be done. People will like the 2015s.” As I mentioned, Château Thivin has a roster of outstanding wines that for me reach their zenith with their Côte de Brouilly. Both the 2014 and 2015 are fabulous wines that would be up there with the finest that I tasted during my stay in the region. I actually prefer them to the Cuvée Zaccharie that sees more oak maturation: still a very impressive wine but perhaps not quite as nuanced and detailed as the regular bottling."

Category Red Wine
Country France
Region Beaujolais
Appellation Côte-de-Brouilly
Brand Château Thivin
  • wa94

Wine AdvocateBottled 3 weeks prior to my visit, the 2015 Côte de Brouilly was very closed on the nose though you can tell that it is packed to the rafters with fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with intense red and black fruit, superb mineralité and harmony, gradually building in the mouth with a compelling, tensile finish. What a fantastic Beaujolais in the making - about as good as it gets to be quite honest. If I taste a better QPR wine this, just impossible.