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2020 Côte de Brouilly

Château Thivin
Discount Eligible $32.00
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Fritz Rench, a special person in my family, just celebrated his ninetieth birthday. His enthusiasm for Château Thivin may be unmatched in this world. To put things in perspective, I’m almost half his age, and he’s been drinking (and visiting) Thivin since before I was born. In any wine shop where his travels take him, his first question is, without fail, “Got any Château Thivin?” He knows that there is Beaujolais, there is Côte de Brouilly . . . and then there is Château Thivin. The superb 2020 vintage may be the best Thivin ever. It’s got it all, and so much more. Fritz, here’s to you! I have a case of the 2020 here in the cellar with your name on it, ready for your next visit.

Chris Santini


Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Gamay
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: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 14.1%

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About The Region

Beaujolais

map of 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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Where the newsletter started

Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch

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