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Chateau Thivin Brouilly Reverdon 2015

Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
  • RP92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Brouilly Reverdon, which had been bottled about one month prior to my visit, has a powerful but primal bouquet, clearly laden with plenty of fruit. The definition is here though. The palate is fleshy and supple on the entry but then those tannins cloak the mouth, without overwhelming, finishing in quite a sensual style. This has much more to give but it should be given 3-4 years to allow the terroir to really be expressed. What are you waiting for? This is a knockout Brouilly.
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Chateau Thivin

Chateau Thivin

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Chateau Thivin, Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
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Wine lovers who experience is limited to Noveau owe it to themselves to try the other side of Beaujolais, the hillside Beaujolais, where the soils are more granite and the terrain more rugged. The name Beaujolais may not be present of the label; instead one will find the village name, such as Brouilly, Cote de Brouilly, Morgan or Fleurie.

Chateau Thivin is located in the Cote de Brouilly, an ancient volcanic mound which juts unexpectedly from the Beaujeu Valley floor, about 30 miles north of Lyon.

In the heart of Cote de Brouilly, on the south-facing, crumbling granite slopes, Claude Geoffray at Chateau Thivin works twenty acres of vines. The vineyards are planted entirely to Gamay Noir a jus blanc, a variety of Gamay that is cultivated to stand free of wires and stakes, sturdily attached to the hillside by deep-seeking roots.

At Chateau Thivin, each section of the vineyard is harvested and fermented separately, to preserve the characteristic differences afforded by variations in exposure and altitude. The final wine is a selected blend of these cuvees. Traditional whole cluster fermentation is used in order to keep the characteristic fruity qualities of Gamay, after which the grapes are put into cuve by gravity without being crushed or destemmed. Each vintage spends a few months in large oak foudres before bottling.

Beaujolais

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The bucolic region often identified as the southern part of Burgundy, Beaujolais actually doesn’t have a whole lot in common with the rest of the region in terms of climate, soil types and grape varieties. Beaujolais achieves its own identity with variations on style of one grape, Gamay.

Gamay was actually grown throughout all of Burgundy until 1395 when the Duke of Burgundy banished it south, making room for Pinot noir to inhabit all of the “superior” hillsides of Burgundy proper. This was good news for Gamay as it produces a much better wine in the granitic soils of Beaujolais, compared with the limestone escarpments of the Côte d’Or.

Four styles of Beaujolais exist though most is sold under the basic Beaujolais appellation. The simplest, and one that has regrettably given the region a subpar reputation, is Beaujolais Nouveau. This is the wine that is made using carbonic maceration (a quick fermentation that results in sweet aromas) and is released on the third Thursday of November in the same year as harvest. It's meant to drink young and is flirty, fruity and fun. The rest of Beaujolais is where the serious wines are found. Beaujolais-Villages, which must come from the hilly northern part of the region, offer reasonable values with some gems among them. The superior section are the cru vineyards coming from ten distinct communes: St-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Regnié, Brouilly, and Côte de Brouilly. Any cru Beajolais will have its commune name prominent on the label.

Delightfully playful yet at its best capable of impressive gravitas, Gamay is responsible for juicy, berry-flavored wines in Beaujolais and parts of the Loire Valley. It has received some criticism for its role in Beaujolais Nouveau, a young beverage more reminiscent of fruit punch than wine. But make no mistake—the Gamay grape is very capable of producing light yet serious wines, especially in the cru villages of Beaujolais. The variety is also widely planted in Savoie and Switzerland, and has recently found success on a small but growing scale in Oregon.

In the Glass

Gamay can be decidedly light and fruity with flavors cherry candy and cranberry. Made for Beaujolais Nouveau, with a quick fermentation process, the wines give fun and flirty aromas of banana or bubblegum. The Nouveau style is to drink early and not contemplate. More complex Gamays (Village or cru level) offer dark blackberry or ripe cherry flavors with enticing aromas of baking spice, violets and dark wet earth as well as aging potential.

Perfect Pairings

Gamay is delicious on its own, especially with a light chill. It is the quintessential picnic red and goes well with simple charcuterie, country pate, and terrines. Served at a cool temperature, it is an unexpected but outstanding partner for freshly shucked oysters. Gentle tannins and bright acidity make it a great option with Asian food, even dishes with a bit of a spicy kick. Gamay can also be a great pairing with poultry, especially duck or Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce.

Sommelier Secret

Within Beaujolais, there are ten different crus, or highly ranked grape-growing communes. Each one has its own distinct personality—Fleurie is delicate and floral, Côte de Brouilly is concentrated and elegant, and Morgon is serious, structured, and age-worthy, capable of rivaling some red Burgundies.

AMB21012758593_2015 Item# 169797