On Brouilly hill, Château Thivin produces top-shelf Beaujolais that stand out from their peers for their concentration and the flawless silky texture. Regularly praised by wine critics, Château Thivin is reaping the rewards of its efforts and its conversion to organic agriculture.
The adventure began in 1877 when Zaccharie Geoffray bought the domain and its two hectares of vines around the Brouilly hill. Château Thivin is the flagship property of the Côte de Brouilly appellation, which was created in 1938, largely thanks to the unrelenting work of Zaccharie. The estate now spans 17 hectares. The Côtes de Brouilly appellation lies on an old volcano the summit of which is at 484m above sea level; the volcanic rocks confer further complexity to the wines. This terroir is perfect for the Gamay grape, imparting its signature complexity and freshness.
Having done his training in New Zealand and at Jean-Louis Chave’s domain, Claude-Edouard embodies the 6th generation at the domain. He brought with him a breath of fresh air, far from the traditional image of Beaujolais reduced to a silky, fruit-driven wine. He decided to leave the tradition of carbonic maceration behind him, instead creating highly concentrated, fine wines that are capable of aging for many years and can make for superb food pairings. His first step was to change the way work was done in the vineyards, for instance replanting vines from the domain’s old massal selections, ensuring a lower density (7,000 rootstocks per hectare rather than 10,000). A lower density makes the vines less susceptible to rot and more likely to produce very healthy grapes. Grass is allowed to grow naturally in each parcel, encouraging fauna and flora. Sheep graze on the Clos Bertrand parcel, thereby naturally regulating the grass growth within the vineyard.
In the winery, the domain favours a low intervention approach. Elevage is carried out in old barrels, some of which are up to 80 years old. The Zaccharie cuvée, the domain’s top cuvée which was recently awarded 20/20 by the Revue du vin de France, is produced from a blend of the domain’s best parcels. Matured in 350-litre barrels (5% new oak), it is a serious wine, the patina of the oak imparting a flawless satin-soft mouthfeel. A true masterpiece. While the 2018 harvest was very generous, the grapes in 2017 were more balanced, revealing cooler, less ‘sunny’ aromas.
On the heights of Brouilly hill, here is a domain that, year after year, releases concentrated wines with excellent depth that rival the finest crus in the region. As meticulous in the vineyards as the cellar, the domain is brimming with energy, placing much importance on the natural balance of the soils, so as to convey these identities in a bottle.
What the guides say about Château Thivin
La Revue du Vin de France – 2*/3
Behind its old-fashioned label, the Thivin family embodies the Côte de Brouilly appellation and a traditional image of the Beaujolais. The domain remains at the top tier of the region thanks to its extensive work to the soils and long maturation periods. The cuvées have become iconic.
Under the stewardship of Claude-Edouard, guided by an ever-enduring paternal wisdom, Château Thivin has renovated their vineyards by establishing extensive work to the soils. The 2017s are superb exemplars of balance and freshness.
Wines from Château Thivin currently for sale on iDealwine
Cuvée Zacharie is this domain’s grand vin and one of the most beautiful wines in all the region. It is made from very old and densely planted vines (10,000 vines per hectare). During maturation, the wine spends a tenth of its maturation time in new oak barrels and the rest of the time in 1 to 5 year old barrels (a maturation period of 9 months altogther). This wine is always very ripe and concentrated, offering a subtle woody aroma, tight tannins and a sublime finish. Plenty of ageing potential.
La cuvée La Chapelle provient d’une parcelle située sur le haut de la colline de Brouilly. Celle-ci se définit par un sol aride avec des pentes abruptes. Au Château Thivin, la récolte est manuelle, la vinification se fait en grappes entières et le vin est ensuite élevé en foudre de chêne. A la dégustation, le vin se dévoile à travers une robe rubis aux reflets bleutés. Le nez est empreint de notes fruitées. L’attaque est franche et on retrouve les notes du nez réhaussées d’épices.
This single parcel cuvée offers a discrete nose with notes of red fruits and small black berries. On the palate, the wine is intensely flavourful, redolent with fruity notes. The melted tannins offer nice length to the wine. Will amply reward cellaring.
The Sept Vignes has floral notes with intense fruits on the palate. Open half an hour before and serve at 14°C with delicate meat, charcuterie or cheese.