The back label says drink at 5-12 years but this is my first Levet so the cork comes out as soon as I get this home.
2016 Bernard Levet Côte-Rôtie Maestria- France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (4/13/2019)
Color: Deep Purple
Nose: Smoke on the water
Palate: Fire in the sky
Finish: Da da daaa, da da da daaa, da da daaa, da daaa
Seriously, it is deep purple. The nose is wild, with smoke, gamey bacon, pepper and herbs. Medium-full body, tons of tannin and acid but plenty of crisp fruit too, youthfully disjointed. Sometimes a young wine like this gets even more fiercely tannic with air but this mellows a bit after an hour or two in a decanter. A lot of fun now and a worthy sacrifice ITNOS, it will benefit from a decade to get its ya-yas out. When it does, it should be a killer.
Doc thanks so much for doing this! I always pop one immediately on arrival. They are generally, always disjointed. Fiercely tannic. Jagged acid. Feral. And yet all the constituent parts add up to something that you know will be great. Especially if you’ve had Levet with 10+ on it. I bought both top cuvees but wont be taking delivery until Fall. Loved your post!
PS. I think folks make a mistake focusing only on the La Chavaroche. The Les Journaries is excellent in its own right, and quite distinct.
I’ve had the '06 Journaries and Chavaroche in the past few days. The Chavaroche needed some time to open up and meld together, while the Journaries was great out of the bottle. Given what I had heard of Levet I was expecting a burly, masculine, tannic wine. It was not. The acid was notable, and the fruit was fresh and elegant. It certainly had some iron/bloody minerality, but I thought it was surprisingly restrained. And I did not think the Journaries was a step down… if anything it was better integrated for drinking right now.
Robert, please share your view of the difference (I’ve seen the high level, but would be curious for your take). I loved your description of Chavaroche on another thread. If possible, I’d be curious for your take of Journaries versus other Syrah producers, and less so against Chavaroche. Thanks!
Thanks for the comments. Sounds like this bottle was typical of a young Levet. I’ll put the rest away for a while. The back label says drink at 5-12 years. I suspect these will go a lot longer than that. I’m wondering if 5 years might be too soon to open the next one.
La Chav is a beast, Les Journaries is a beauty, by comparison. Like a beautiful young wild feral cat. Seems to be more approachable at a younger age, but to be candid, I have not had a La Chav with more than 15 years on it. Perhaps it ultimately fleshes out as well as Les J does, with its dilineation. I popped a ‘98 La Chav with Fu, but it was corked. Try the 2011 Les J now. It’s fantastic.