2017 Château Thivin, Côte de Brouilly, Cru Beaujolais, France.
One of the first Gamay producers I started collecting on a regular basis, Chateau Thivin is always a favorite of mine and such a great value, virtually guilt free when compared to some of my other favs, like Foillard, Lapierre and Dutraive and this 2017 Cote de Brouilly is pure as can be with lovely and lively red fruits that burst from the glass and is so inviting with its subtle floral perfume and enticing electric ruby color. The palate opens up with a mix of red berries, tangy plum, strawberry and red currant jam along with crushed stones, an array of dusty red and brown spices in a medium bodied and elegant wine that leaves a silky cherry note and geranium aftertaste lingering on. While highly quaffable and easy to love there is the fine structural backbone to hold everything together, making it far more serious than your first sip might have you believe. Typically made with whole cluster and a short fermentation the Thivin Cote de Brouilly comes from old parcels on very steep slopes with a 48% grade and it usually sees about 6 months of aging in very old oak foudres before bottling. This 2017 is all you’d expect from Thivin and gets better and better with each sip, it reminds me to order up on the latest releases!

Château Thivin is the benchmark domaine of the Côte de Brouilly, and as importer Kermit Lynch says, everything about it is exceptional with a dramatic setting and fantastic terroir that has distinct blue volcanic rock, comprised of plagioclase and biotite in the soils. Built in the fifteenth century on an ancient volcano which juts out steeply into the valley below, the historic Chateau Thivin is the oldest estate winery on Mont Brouilly. Even more important, however, as Kermit adds, is Thivin’s tremendous success since farmer Zaccharie Geoffray purchased the château with its two hectares of land at auction in 1877. The Geoffray family have continued through the generations to improve their vines and wines and added top parcels as they became available. They have almost single-handed boosted the prestige of this cru in the face of many trying times, wars, and the Great Depression, they also played a pivotal role in the creation of the Côte de Brouilly appellation, which now is one of the top crus, right up there with Morgon and Fleurie. Thivin does a delicious Brouilly bottling as well, that one sees 100% whole cluster and cement vat aging, along with a couple Beaujolais Blancs, a Rosé, the rare old vine “Cuvée Zaccharie” and this one, they are all delightful bargains!
($28 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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