Thivin’s seven plots are planted on a 48% gradient and five were vinified separately (using whole cluster fermentation) before being blended and matured in large, 20-40 hectolitre old foudre (oak barrels). The result, in the ripe 2018 vintage is an almost brooding and well-priced Beaujolais with dark fruits, dried herbs and enough structure to warrant cellaring this for up to a decade.
Has a kind of stony aroma, latent cranberry whiffs, touch of mushroom but mostly chalk and stone. Fleshy in the palate but retains lightness of fruit flavour and weight – a kind of gossamer spread in the mouth, fresh, just ripe cherry flavours. It’s what you’d call A Savoury Wine but you get the gist that just ripe fruit has a place here. Lithe, sinewy wine of good character and detail. I like it.
93 points, The Wine Front (July 2019)
“Today, after a period of being the pariahs of the wine world, they are once again worthy objects of interest for serious wine lovers. This is all due to the magic combination of the Gamay grape and the particular characteristics of the best villages in the region, including the famous ‘crus’ Beaujolais.” Jancis Robinson MW
Located on the higher slopes of the extinct volcano Mont Brouilly within the Brouilly Cru Beaujolais. The wines from this region are more deeply concentrated with less earthiness than Brouilly wine.
With only just over 300ha under vine and nearly 500 metres above sea level at its highest point, the Côte de Brouilly appellation is one of the smallest of the ten crus of Beaujolais Crus. With its combination of granite, blue volcanic rock (diorite) and very steep slopes, Côte de Brouilly produces far more mineral and exciting wines than it's big brother Brouilly (1200 ha) down the hill. Château Thivin, regarded by most as the benchmark producer in Côte de Brouilly, has been in the hands of the Geoffray family since 1877 when Zaccharie Geoffray purchased the Château and two hectares of land at auction in 1877.
Today, the estate, which now spans 17 hectares, is run by Claude-Edouard Geoffray (the sixth generation) who did his wine apprenticeship in New Zealand, Austria, The US and back at home in the northern Rhone. Working Thivin’s Côte de Brouilly parcels which are predominantly south-facing and are planted entirely with Gamay vines that average 50 years of age, the estate has environmental certification from Terra Vitis and grass is allowed to grow naturally in each parcel, encouraging fauna and flora.
In the winery, the Claude favours a low intervention approach and each parcel is fermented separately (even if some are later blended to make wines like the Sept Vignes) using a combination of whole bunches (around 70%) and de-stemmed fruit that begin in concrete tanks and large wooden vats which are fed by gravity. Elevage is carried out mainly large 20-40 hl foudre (barrels) in old barrels, some of which are up to 80 years old. These are some of the most concentrated, structured, long-lived yet beautifully balanced wines in all Beaujolais.