2015 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly Cru Beaujolais

SKU #1269817 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Bottled 3 weeks prior to my visit, the 2015 Côte de Brouilly was very closed on the nose though you can tell that it is packed to the rafters with fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with intense red and black fruit, superb mineralité and harmony, gradually building in the mouth with a compelling, tensile finish. What a fantastic Beaujolais in the making - about as good as it gets to be quite honest. If I taste a better QPR wine this year...no, just impossible. The good thing about visiting Château Thivin with only a sketchy idea of its location is that you can just head for a large, hilly-shaped object (the Côte de Brouilly) and circle it a few times and you are bound to finally locate the 16th century château. Like last year, I also met with Cédric Chignard in order to taste his own wines and also those of Jean Foillard, also “in the house,” for a representation of Kermit Lynch’s Beaujolais producers. Claude-Edouard Geoffray, who may possibly resemble Daniel Radcliffe/Harry Potter even more than last year, has cast his magic wand over recent releases from Château Thivin and, in my humble opinion, produced some absolute classics from around Côte de Brouilly. “I was surprised by the freshness of the 2015,” he told me as we sat down to taste. “We had more concentration than maturity but the wines were also rich with acidity. We started the picking on 28 August and finished on 9 September. The harvest was fast, almost too fast. Because of the dryness there were not a lot of l  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

Long regarded as the top domaine in the Côte de Brouilly, Château Thivin is also the oldest estate on Mont Brouilly, built on an ancient volcano back in the fifteenth century. Run by the third generation of the Geoffray family, who have been farming the estate since 1977, the current proprietors--Claude, his wife Evelyne and their son Claude-Edouard--practice lutte raisonnée, planting herbs and flowers between the rows of 50-plus-year-old vines, plowing regularly and using natural composts to keep their vines healthy. The Côte de Brouilly comes from Gamay vines planted on south-, east- and southeast-facing steep slopes, hand-harvested and aged for six months in foudres. Charming now, this wine will become more elegant with a few years in bottle.

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Price: $23.99

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By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/14/2016 | Send Email
Chateau Thivin has always been one of my favorite producers, and in a vintage such as 2015, its an automatic "yes, please!" This lovely, silky Beaujolais displays dark fruit, soft, ripe tannin, and elegant minerality. This is an easy bottle to open and enjoy as is, but I don't doubt that it will mature with another couple of years into a truly stunning wine.

By: Sal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/14/2016 | Send Email
Bright, lovely, fragrant, brambly berries on the nose. Zippy and delicious on the palate. Great presence of fruit, with supple texture, and exotic spice. Just a delight to sip on!

By: Alex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/14/2016 | Send Email
Beaujolais has enjoyed two great vintages back-to-back and what makes that even better is the wines are stylistically different. 2014s are classically-styled, with grippy tannins, good acidity and crunchy red fruit while the 2015s are rich, powerful and velvety in style. Luckily with a producer as great as Chateau Thivin they’re able to take the raw material from 2015 and keep a classical feel while also highlighting all the positive characteristics we associate with the 2015 vintage. The nose alone makes this wine! Deep red plum, kirsch notes and a hint of baking spice jostle for position as they slowly whaff up from the glass. On the palate this wine is electric, with gorgeous pure berry fruit that has just a slight sour tinge that makes you almost want to pucker. An outrageously good food wine this can be paired with virtually all foods thanks to its racy acidity and ability to take on a slight chill if needed. Enjoy the greatness and versatility Beaujolais affords you as well as its great affordability!
Top Value! Drink from 2016 to 2026

By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/14/2016 | Send Email
The nose on this wine is absolutely gorgeous--dried flowers, dark berries, and faint earth--while the palate offers more of all that promise with structure and serious grip. Those who think you know Beaujolais from the carbonic crunch of those big, overly juicy nouveau wines owe it to yourself to try this. You'll likely reconsider that bottle of Bourgogne Rouge for the same price. Especially beacuse Cru Beaujolais is really so much better!

By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/8/2016 | Send Email
This is a rock solid Cru Beaujolais at a very friendly price point. Brilliant violet in color, the wine shows aromas of cherry cola, dried red flowers and red cherry. On the palate this guy is a little hard upon entry, but with a light decant (+/- 45 minutes) it softens up very nicely. It's a great food wine that will be perfect for the upcoming holiday stretch.

By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/8/2016 | Send Email
Pinot lovers, here's a not-so-dirty little secret about our Burgundy section: the 2014 & 2015 Beaujolais are absolutely great! So while you wait for those Bourgognes to mature you should be exploring the instant gratification that the 10 unique Crus of Beaujolais provide. Chateau Thivin is a great, classic place to start. Showing off the ripe 2015 vintage with a little extra body weight, plenty of black cherry fruit and cinnamon spice, Thivin is a total crowd-pleaser. Luscious on the palate, yet kept in balance by fresh acidity and a fine tannin finish, this is versatile, affordable and delectable!

Additional Information:



- Ah, poor, oft-maligned Gamay. Once widely planted in Burgundy, today the grape is largely confined to Beaujolais. The varietal, officially called Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc is vigorous, early-ripening and can grow in cooler climates. The grapes naturally high acidity, low tannins and low potential alcohol lends itself to exuberant, fruity wines, ranging from the early-release Beaujolais Nouveau, to the more serious Cru Beaujolais from villages like Brouilly, Moulin-à-Vent and St-Amour that are steadily gaining in popularity (and can age remarkably well). Outside of Beaujolais, Gamay is also grown in small amounts around the Loire where it is called Anjou Gamay and Gamay de Touraine. It is also grown in Burgundy's Côte Chalonnaise where it is blended with Pinot Noir, as it is in Switzerland.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


- Region in east central France, often considered a part of Burgundy, but really quite distinct. The principal grape grown here is Gamay Noir. Familiar to many as the source of the Beaujolais Nouveau, the first wine of the vintage, Beaujolais is often fresh, fruity and very appealing red wine. Besides the straight Beaujolais, there is also Beaujolais Villages, and what is known as Cru Beaujolais. The 10 individual Crus, such as Moulin à Vent, Brouilly, Fleurie, Julienas, St. Amour and Chénas, each have their own character, and much more depth than someone who has only tried a simple Beaujolais could ever guess. These often represent value-priced, lovely, food-friendly wines.