• Carnal Knowledge: 2019 Pierre Cotton Côte de Brouilly

    Carnal Knowledge: 2019 Pierre Cotton Côte de Brouilly

    Pierre Cotton is a name in Beaujolais that deserves a close look from Cru Beaujolais purists and the ultra natural-focused crowd alike. The Wine Advocate's William Kelley once dubbed Cotton's wines as "carnal," an apt descriptor for these unique wines that have pushed the limits of how raw Gamay can be.

    Pierre and Marine jumped at the chance to acquire La Chapelle, a small parcel at the very top of the Côte de Brouilly; this is the highest elevation vineyard in the appellation, located just before the small chapel at the top of the hill in Odenas. It is a supremely elegant Gamay with the same unique blue diorite terroir found in Les Grilles but at a higher altitude.

    The wines are raw and feral yet exhibit the same satin texture and layered complexity you're likely to find in a bottle of Foillard or Lapierre. Alongside Yann Bertrand and Alex Foillard, Pierre Cotton is leading the new generation of Cru Beaujolais vignerons.

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Beaujolais in Blue:  2018 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly

    Beaujolais in Blue: 2018 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly

    Thivin's Côte de Brouilly has been a staple in our Cru Beaujolais category since day one. The value at $31 per bottle is always refreshing as pricing for top producers in the region continue to climb. These 50-yr-old vines are situated in as unique a location as any in Beaujolais, here on blue volcanic soil and an unusually steep 48% grade slope. There's a blue-fruited quality to the Gamay that leads one to believe terroir can impart an extremely obvious sense of place.

    2018 is an exciting vintage for the region, with the hot summer not bringing a roasted or jammy quality as we often saw in years like 2015 and 2009. The abundant spring rains kept these soils hydrated through the stress of summer heat spikes, and in turn, the wines show fleshy, full-bodied fruit with an unmistakable acid-streak and pronounced minerality.

    Château Thivin’s roots date back to the 15th century. But, it was in 1877 when Zaccharie Geoffrey purchased the 2-hectare estate at auction that Thivin began as we know it today. His grandson, Claude was pivotal in the creation of the Côte de Brouilly appellation during the great depression. And now his grandnephew, also Claude, his wife Evelyn, and their son Claude-Edouard are behind production of this benchmark Côte de Brouilly. Kermit Lynch visited the domaine during his first trip on the wine route with Richard Olney in 1976.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen