Bernard Levet, Cote Rotie "Les Journaires", 2017 (1.5L)

$172.99
Available for Same Day Delivery (or Pickup) in Manhattan.

Les Journaires is a special Cote Rotie from Levet. Instead of being from their main property in Chavaroche, this comes mostly from old vines in La Landonee.

Josh Raynolds writes of this wine: "A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red and dark berries, licorice, exotic spices and potpourri and shows outstanding definition. Stains the palate with appealingly sweet black raspberry, blueberry and cherry preserve flavors that slowly tighten up on the back half. Shows superb energy and floral lift on an impressively long, focused finish shaped by steadily mounting tannins. This is quite a powerful wine (about 70% of the fruit comes from La Landonne, by the way) for one that checks in at only 13% alcohol. Made entirely with whole clusters."

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Bernard Levet

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 93-94
"Deep lurid ruby. Expansive mineral- and spice-accented aromas of blackberry cherry pie star anise olive and violet show excellent clarity and lift. Round pliant and alluringly sweet offering intense black/blue fruit spicecake flavors and a late touch of mocha. Finishes smooth smoky and extremely long displaying well-delineated mineral floral pastille notes and sneaky tannins."

Details

  • Country

    France

  • Region

    Northern Rhone

  • Grape Variety

    Syrah

  • Vintage

    2017

  • Size

    1.5L

  • Farming Practice

    Organic

  • Style

    Earthy , Funky , Tannic

  • Sweetness

    Dry

  • Body

    Full Bodied