Region: Cote-Rotie, Northern Rhone, France
First Glance: Dense black fruit, structured, olive, black pepper, age-worthy
Acclaim: 99 points
The 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 single vineyard La Peroline is considered the top bottling among the different lieu-dit here, and is treated as such, with the handling accordingly turned up a notch. The fruit is not destemmed for this, so 100% whole bunches go to fermentation in stainless steel vats, followed by two years ageing in 30% (up from 15% for the other cuvees) in medium-sized 600hl demi-muid barrels. A highly structured and powerfully coiled wine. We will let the reviews below speak for them selves.
99 points, Jeb Dunnock
Lastly, the 2019 Côte Rôtie La Chavaroche comes from a single lieu-dit in the northern part of the appellation, and it’s just about as good as wild, classic, traditional Côte Rôtie gets. Vivid purple, with an incredible bouquet cracked black pepper, violets, iron, bloody beef, and assorted red, blue, and black fruits, it has more obvious minerality than the slightly more rounded Les Journaries, flawless balance, and enough structure to warrant upwards of a decade of bottle age. The purity of fruit in all these 2019 is something to behold, and readers should seek these wines out.
96-98 points, The Wine Advocate
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.