2016 Côte de Brouilly, Les Griottes de Brulhié, Château Thivin, Beaujolais

2016 Côte de Brouilly, Les Griottes de Brulhié, Château Thivin, Beaujolais

Product: 20168007049
 
2016 Côte de Brouilly, Les Griottes de Brulhié, Château Thivin, Beaujolais

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Description

Exceptionally steep slopes of granite and schist endow the best wines of the Côte de Brouilly with a complexity and minerality rarely found in those of the flatter vineyards of Brouilly, a separate Cru, which loops around the first. Les Griottes is a single parcel of vines, mid-slope (where cherries once grew, hence the name), whose southerly aspect results in a rich, ripe cuvée, with black fruit aromas to the fore, as well as a subtle but distinctive hint of caramel. The ’16 is fresher and more linear than warmer vintages, but no less seductive. The grapes were partially de-stemmed, and the wine aged in huge oak casks, some of which have seen a century of vintages. The winemaker at Château Thivin is talented 30-something Claude-Edouard Geoffray, whose family purchased the domaine in 1877. Drink 2018-2023.
Will Heslop, Wine Buyer

The excellence of Cru Beaujolais is something I have held dear for some time, but its ageing potential was first brought to my attention when I was served two Moulin-à-Vent wines from 1961 and 1962 produced by Camille Giroud. The freshness and complexity of these wines was simply astonishing and I have since made it something of a personal mission to return these great wines to their rightful place in the cellars and on the tables of the most discerning wine drinkers. The wines in our offer cover a range of styles; whole-bunch, de-stemmed, oaked, unoaked, elegant and floral, dense and structured. This almost endless variety and versatility is what is most fascinating about Gamay grown on Beaujolais’s volcanic soils. What the wines have in common, however, is that they all offer excellent value for money and great drinking pleasure.

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About this WINE

Chateau Thivin

Chateau Thivin

Château Thivin, located in the Côte de Brouilly, is renowned for its distinctive volcanic soils and early-ripening fruit. This small appellation, one of the ten Beaujolais Crus, offers a unique terroir expertly showcased through the estate's various single-vineyard cuvées. Each of the estate's ten plots, spread around the steep hill of Côte de Brouilly, brings its own character, combining to create fresh, structured, and concentrated wines, making them appealing both in youth and with age.

Owned by the Geoffray family since 1877, the estate is managed by fifth-generation Claude and Evelyne Geoffray, along with their son Claude-Edouard and daughter-in-law Sonia. Château Thivin spans 27 hectares across more than ten distinct plots in Côte de Brouilly, with additional plots in Brouilly and Theizé. The estate produces at least five single-vineyard cuvées each vintage, along with their flagship blend, Sept Vignes, which harmoniously combines the characteristics of seven different parcels.

The vineyards feature the three signature soil types of the appellation: blue volcanic rock, granite, and clay/limestone, supporting primarily Gamay and Chardonnay. Sustainable viticulture practices are a hallmark of Château Thivin, including grass between vines to prevent erosion, encourage soil health, and use pygmy sheep for winter grass control. Grapes are sorted meticulously and vinified separately in cement cuves, aged in foudres for six to twelve months. Certified by Terra Vitis and transitioning to organic farming, the winery also employs biodynamic practices like bottling at the full moon.

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Brouilly

Brouilly

Brouilly stands out as the largest and southernmost of the Beaujolais Crus, located in eastern France. Its expansive vineyards encompass the lower slopes of Mont Brouilly, a prominent volcanic hill that shapes the region's unique terroir. The soils here vary widely, including granite, volcanic rock, and clay-limestone compositions, each contributing distinct characteristics to the wines produced. These diverse soils foster different flavours and provide excellent drainage and mineral content, which is essential for cultivating high-quality grapes.

Viticulture in Brouilly centres around the Gamay grape, the sole variety permitted in Beaujolais red wines. The region's microclimates and varying elevations offer optimal conditions for ripening Gamay, resulting in wines known for their vibrant fruit profiles. Brouilly wines typically exhibit flavours of red berries, such as strawberries and raspberries, along with notes of plums and sometimes a hint of floral or spicy undertones. The volcanic influence from Mont Brouilly adds a subtle minerality and depth to the wines, contributing to their complexity.

Brouilly wines are celebrated for their approachability and versatility. They are often characterised by a soft, smooth texture with balanced acidity, making them enjoyable to drink young. However, with careful ageing, these wines can develop additional layers of complexity, showcasing more nuanced flavours and greater depth. The region's winemakers, dedicated to sustainable viticulture practices, ensure that the vineyards remain healthy and productive for generations to come. This commitment to quality and longevity is a hallmark of Brouilly's wine production.

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Gamay

Gamay

A French variety planted predominately in Beaujolais where it is the grape behind everything from light and often acidic Beaujolais Nouveau through to the more serious and well-structured wines from the 10 cru villages. It takes its name from a hamlet just outside Chassagne-Montrachet and was at one stage widely planted on the Côte d`Or. However it was gradually phased out due to its poor yield and supposed poor quality of its wines.

The majority of Gamay wines in Beaujolais are labelled as Beaujolais or Beaujolais-Villages and are deliciously juicy, easy drinking, gulpable wines. Of more interest are the Cru wines from the 10 villages in the north of the region where the soil is predominantly granitic schist and where the vines are planted on gently undulating slopes. These can be well-structured, intensely perfumed wines, redolent of ripe black fruits and, while delicious young, will reward medium term cellaring.

Gamay is also grown in the Touraine region of the Loire where it produces soft, well-balanced, gluggable wines for drinking young.

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