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2015 Côte de Brouilly “Cuvée Zaccharie”

Château Thivin

2015 Côte de Brouilly “Cuvée Zaccharie” Château Thivin - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Now that I have kids, I think a lot about family legacy. The most substantial heirloom in my family is a small cabin my great-grandfather built near Santa Cruz in the 1930s. Eventually it may pass to me, and the responsibility is often on my mind. My familial duties pale, though, in comparison to those of Claude Geoffray of Château Thivin, whose family estate dates back to the fourteenth century! So how does Claude honor a legacy that is more than six centuries old? He vinifies the oldest and best parcels of Gamay into the deepest, most structured, most elegant Beaujolais I’ve ever tasted. I think I’ll take a few bottles to the family cabin. –Dustin Soiseth

$45.00
Vintage: 2015
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Gamay Noir
Appellation: Beaujolais
Country: France
Region: Beaujolais
Producer: Château Thivin
Winemaker: Claude Geoffray
Vineyard: 40 - 90 years, 1 ha
Soil: Clay and volcanic rock (composed of Diorite and Porphyry)
Aging: Ages for 1-5 years in 228-L oak barrels, of which only 10% is new oak
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 12%

More from this Producer or Region

About Beaujolais

After years of the region’s reputation being co-opted by mass-produced Beaujolais Nouveau and the prevalence of industrial farming, the fortunes of vignerons from the Beaujolais have been on the rise in the past couple of decades. Much of this change is due to Jules Chauvet, a prominent Beaujolais producer who Kermit worked with in the 1980s and arguably the father of the natural wine movement, who advocated not using herbicides or pesticides in vineyards, not chaptalizing, fermenting with ambient yeasts, and vinifying without SO2. Chief among Chauvet’s followers was Marcel Lapierre and his three friends, Jean Foillard, Guy Breton, and Jean-Paul Thévenet—a group of Morgon producers who Kermit dubbed “the Gang of Four.” The espousal of Chauvet’s methods led to a dramatic change in quality of wines from Beaujolais and with that an increased interest and appreciation for the AOC crus, Villages, and regular Beaujolais bottlings.

The crus of Beaujolais are interpreted through the Gamay grape and each illuminate the variety of great terroirs available in the region. Distinguishing itself from the clay and limestone of Burgundy, Beaujolais soils are predominantly decomposed granite, with pockets of blue volcanic rock. The primary vinification method is carbonic maceration, where grapes are not crushed, but instead whole clusters are placed in a tank, thus allowing fermentation to take place inside each grape berry.

Much like the easy-going and friendly nature of many Beaujolais vignerons, the wines too have a lively and easy-drinking spirit. They are versatile at table but make particularly good matches with the local pork sausages and charcuterie. Though often considered a wine that must be drunk young, many of the top crus offer great aging potential.

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There is so much contained in a glass of good wine, It is a gift of nature that tastes of man's foibles, his sense of the beautiful, his idealism and virtuosity.

Adventures on the Wine Route, pages 232

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