2019 Chateau Thivin Reverdon Brouilly
A French friend of mine owns one of New York’s best wine bars. His wine list reads like an anthology of great wines from great estates from every region of France. His customers include serious connoisseurs from around the world, wine hipsters from around the city, and people from the neighborhood who just like to drink a lot of wine. Of all the great wines on his great list, there is a smaller list which he tracks personally. These are wines which excite the palates of his vast diversity of customers as easily as they accommodate the various weights of their wallets. At the top of that list is Chateau Thivin Brouilly Reverdon.
Chateau Thivin stands on the steep slopes of the Cote de Brouilly — a Renaissance edifice on an ancient volcano presiding over the colorful vineyards and fields of its valleys. It glimmers like an image from a French Romantic painting. It stands as a symbol of its stature in the region. Chateau Thivin is the oldest estate on Mont Brouilly, and the bellwether for all the wines of the Cote de Brouilly appellation.
In 1877, a farmer named Zaccharie Geoffray purchased the chateau, along with its two hectares of land. In the following decades, Zaccharie’s son, who’s name was Claude, expanded the property. In the 1930s, Claude’s son — who was also named Claude — was integral to the establishment of Cote de Brouilly as a wine appellation. And today, Claude’s grandnephew — yet again named Claude! — has made Chateau Thivin the top producer in the Cote de Brouilly.
The vineyards of Chateau Thivin are planted exclusively to Gamay vines, with an average age of 50 years. Claude cultivates all of his vineyards organically, and he harvests and vinifies all of their parcels separately to protect their defining personalities. The grapes for Reverdon are from the steep, crumbly, pink granite hillside of Mont Brouilly. Claude vinifies Reverdon with whole grape clusters to preserve the characteristic fruity qualities of Gamay. He raises the wine in concrete tanks for eight months, followed by a few months in large oak foudres before bottling.
The 2019 vintage of Chateau Thivin Revedon is a special wine. As Kermit Lynch would say, both country squire and aristocrat. It has power. It has depth. It has finesse. It speaks for the soul of the Cote de Brouilly. This is a rich, voluptuous Beaujolais, with sweet violet, black raspberry, blood orange, and a smooth, expressive, mineral thrust. A wine you’d think would cost three times more than it does. But it accommodates any wallet, every palate, and all occasions. A staple for your cellar. An exciting wine for any night of the week.