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2016 Côte de Brouilly

Château Thivin

2016 Côte de Brouilly Château Thivin - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

Thivin is an institution in the Côte de Brouilly appellation: the splendid château dates back to 1383, and the Geoffray family, who has called it home for generations, has a long history of producing fabulous wines from this fabled cru. Arguably even more legendary is the cuisine of Evelyne Geoffray, who tackles the crucial task of feeding hungry harvesters every September. Her cooking embraces the best of the French culinary tradition and puts forth the Beaujolais' richness of fine local products. Loaded with wild fruit, spice, and crunchy minerality, Thivin's Côte de Brouilly marries to perfection with Evelyne's generous, soulful cuisine.

Anthony Lynch

Vintage: 2016
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Gamay Noir
Appellation: Côte de Brouilly
Country: France
Region: Beaujolais
Producer: Château Thivin
Winemaker: Claude Geoffray
Vineyard: Average of 50 years, 8.3 ha
Soil: Blue volcanic rock comprised of plagioclase and biotite
Aging: Ages in oak foudres for six months before bottling
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 13%

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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If you're looking for value, look where no one else is looking.

Inspiring Thirst, page 211

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