2015 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly Cru Beaujolais
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
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.