Domaine Levet Amethyste Cote Rotie 2019


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Region: Cote-Rotie, Northern Rhone, France 
Grape: Syrah 
First Glance: Dense black fruit, concentrated , meaty, oak spice, age-worthy 
Acclaim: 93 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 flag-ship cuvee Amethyste is made with fruit from the 6 different Lieu dits (singe sites) of the estate. Solely made of Syrah (foregoing the practise of adding small amounts of Viognier to the blend), about 50% of the fruit is processed as whole bunches, adding extra structure and peppery spice to the wine. Ageing is done in 600L French oak casks, about 15% of which are new. This tends to be a structured and powerful wine on release, which will reveal its layers over the course of at least a decade or more in bottle. 

The review:

93 points, Jeb Dunnock

Leading off the bottled reds, the 2019 Côte Rôtie Amethyste would be a great introduction for readers trying to understand the style of this estate. A perfumed, gamey, sun-kissed nose of blue fruits, black peppery and candied violets give way to a medium to full-bodied, ripe, textured, and (by this estate’s standards) downright charming Côte Rôtie that already offers pleasure. It will keep for 10-15 years