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Bernard Levet Cote Rotie La Chavaroche 2019

$104.99

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The largest holdings of the Levets at a whopping 1.2 hectares, this mostly old vine vineyard in the Cote Brune is the most powerful and long lived of the Syrah from this excellent but small domaine.
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The wine world has changed so much in the last 30-40 years. But some things–just a tiny few–have hardly changed at all.

Bernard Levet has changed hardly a thing over the 34 vintages of Cote-Rotie that Neal Rosenthal has imported. Josh Raynolds insisted that the wines hit a whole new level when Bernard’s daughter, Agnes, became more involved. But we've loved the wines for a long time and continue to.

The Levets make just a little wine from their mere 3.5 hectares. They farm in the old style, by hand, on Cote-Rotie's steep terraces. They use the same traditional methods that Gentaz and the like use to make the bottles that auction for so much now: long macerations, large barrels, no de-stemming. And every year, Neal Rosenthal imports his allocation and we buy a decent chunk for ourselves and our customers here at Flatiron.

It seems funny now, but Neal's website still warns that the wines are "controversial" and "wild." it seems the page hasn't been updated even as the rising price for Noel Verset's wines have shown just how favored wilder Northern Rhone Syrah has become! We are grateful that Levet's wines have so far been immune to this inflation.

There is definitely a wild side to these wines, which we love. But we've also noticed that year after year the wildness seems a little less pronounced. Is that Agnes's touch? In any case that quality calms down with proper cellaring. We've opened multiple bottles of mature Levet over the years and they are always beautiful examples of Northern Rhone Syrah. The wine's innate ferocity is tamed and integrated (but not eliminated) by the time in bottle.

Professional Reviews

Antonio Galloni

AG 97
"Primarily from La Landonne, the 2019 Cote Rotie Les Journaries (labeled Maestria outside the United States) features pungent notes of black olives, roasted meat and grilled plum. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, with a long, softly chewy finish, this has a real shot at greatness." -Vinous

Robert Parker

RP 98
"The most impressive wine I tasted at Levet was the 2019 Cote Rotie La Chavaroche (known as La Peroline in most markets). Scents of crushed stone, bacon fat, violets, Asian five spice powder, purple raspberries and grilled plums make for a wonderfully enthralling and complex nose, while the full-bodied palate is concentrated and richly textured, leading into a long, velvety finish. Wow." -Robert Parker

What importer Rosenthal Wine Merchant has to say about this wine...

The cuvee that we have imported from the outset (1983 vintage) is from the “Chavaroche” vineyard. As explained above, this wine is aged for thirty to thirty-six months prior to bottling. It is, quite simply, a ferocious wine, unique in its uninhibited expression of the smells and flavors of the appellation. No compromise is brooked here. The result is a wine that is controversial, too “wild” for many but, for us, one of the most elite wines in our personal pantheon. We import annually approximately 2400 bottles (a mix of 750mls and magnums).

Details

  • Grape Variety

    Syrah

  • Vintage

    2019

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Organic

  • Style

    Earthy , Fruity , Rich

  • Sweetness

    Dry

  • Body

    Medium Bodied

Customer Reviews

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