“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.” Kermit Lynch, US importer and wine commentator.
Return of one of our top French estates, and one of the oldest Chateau's in the country. Chateau Thivin, from Beaujolais' Cote de Brouilly oozes history, tradition and quality. The variety is Gamay, in a powerful, tightly wound, medium bodied and nervy form. It is compelling and delicious drinking of benchmark artisanal French rouge at an accessible, sub-$50 price. Another one for the Pinot lovers or those that like the more restrained, cool climate versions of Shiraz.
Thivin is the oldest (and the best) producer in Cote de Brouilly, one of the famous crus (small mountain villages) in Beaujolais, a stunning area of vineyard land that stretches north from Lyon.
Chateau Thivin was established in the fifteenth century and is now owned and run by the Geoffray family, since Zaccharie Geoffray purchased the château with its two hectares of land at auction in 1877. It is multi-generational, and every generation of the Geoffray family has promoted and expressed the unique quality of the Brouilly appellation over the decades since. They have always farmed sustainably with plowing, composts and mid row cover crops aimed to enhance healthy activity in the soils. The French refer to this farming as Lutte Raisonee. On top of this, they are currently in conversion to certified organic status.
Their vineyards are planted on the steep slopes of Mont Brouilly, with an average age of 50 years. The soils are blue stone and a distinct pink granite. If you are interested in learning more about these soils and the farming practives, the Chateau Thivin website has some incredible content. The fruit for this wine is handpicked, naturally fermented (no additions) and aged in old French oak foudres (see below) for seven months. The objective is to harness the fruit and earth characters and not overpower with oak. The wine will still age incredibly well, for up to ten years.
12 months ago we offered the rich 2018 vintage. 2019 was another strong year in Beaujolais, low on quantity with yields well down. It was warm, a dry and sunny season that delivered flavour in abundance. Producers like Thivin excelled, with high cool sites littered with old vines that maintained savouriness, finesse and restraint. Only 30 bottles available.
Flavours are plums, cherry, red berries, white pepper, spice mix and red flowers. The palate is soft, supple and silky, with ripe red fruits, herbs and earth driven characters like stone and granite.
Serve this with tender sweet meats like roast eye-fillet or pork sausages. It will also pair well with soft and medium soft mild cheeses and quality charcuterie. It will drink best over the next four years.
As always if there are any questions, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.
Tom and Dan.