Domaine Levet Cote Rotie Maestria 2019


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Region: Cote-Rotie, Northern Rhone, France 
Grape: Syrah 
First Glance: bold, structured , earthy, spice, age-worthy 
Acclaim: 95-97 points 
 Levet family has been growing grapes in the Northern Rhone since 1936, and is now in the hands of the 3rd and 4th generation, with Bernard and Nicole Levet at the helm, joined recently by their daughter Agnes. The small domaine own 3.5H of vines in the steep, sunbathed granite terraces of the Cote-Rotie, with holdings in both the Cote Brune and Cote Blonde, as well as other prime parcels in the region. Viticulture is carried out mostly by hand, as is commonplace on the rough and hard terrain of the area, and is mostly organic, with the estate also certified HVE (Haute Valeur Environnementale) for sustainable production practices. While the Levet style is relatively classic, the wines do see some new oak and are aged for a substantial 24 - 30 months, and are both bold and dramatic in character, and have huge upside potential if cellared correctly. 

The Maestria is primarily sourced from the famous La Landonne vineyard, from very old vine material, adding real depth and definition to the resulting wine. Like the other cuvees of Levet, it is 100% Syrah, with a large portion of the fruit processed as whole bunches, adding extra structure and peppery spice to the wine. While fermentation takes place in large steel vats, ageing is done in a mix of 600L and 30hl foudre oak, about 15% of which are new. While maintaining the house style, this has perhaps more detail and definition than the Amethyste, but will likewise greatly reward careful cellaring for one or two decades for the patient. 

The review: 
95 – 97 points, Vinous 
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.