2016 Bernard Levet Cote Rotie Les Journaries
Bernard and Nicole Levet began the domaine in 1983 with just three and a half hectares of enviable holdings around Ampuis in Cote Rotie. This modest property was passed down through Nicole’s father Marius Chambeyron—a legendarily brazen vigneron who built a coarsely hand-painted “CHAMBEYRON” sign high on his parcel of Côte-Brune to compete with those of his more famous and deep-pocketed négociant neighbors. While his sign remains there today, their daughter Agnes is at the helm, working their vertiginous, unforgiving terrain with bred-in-bone skill and intuition. That work, by the way, can only be carried out by hand in this appellation and is quite treacherous with 40-60 degree slopes.
For their Journaries label, the Levets use their 1/3 hectare in the La Landonne cru for its foundation. This vineyard is perhaps best known as part of Guigal’s ‘La-La’ Cote Roties that each sell for well over $500 per bottle these days… No de-stemming is done by Levet, which allows for that intoxicating spice to explode from the glass. Les Journaries, as a result, shows black pepper, orange zest, black olive, lavender, dried brush, blackberry, plum and violets. 2016 is an absolutely outstanding year-arguably the best ever for this venerable estate. Don’t miss out on a rare chance to get your hands on one of the world’s best Syrahs.