"With a mere three and a half hectares of vines, all of them in Côte-Rôtie, the Levets' wines will never be especially easy to find, but they have become a beacon for fans of traditional renditions of the appellation."
 
- Josh Reynolds of Vinous (April 2017)
 
At around around 1,000 cases produced annually, Famille Levet is one of Côte Rôties most fervent traditionalists and smallest domaines. While my love of Northern Rhone Syrah veers heavily toward the most old-school and authentic interpretations of terroir, Levet is in a category unto itself. It's been such a treat to work with these wines since launching the site with the 2009 vintage.

However, today marks a bittersweet moment as the demand for the 2015 vintage has, for the first time ever, allocated these wines. We received only 24 bottles and 6 magnums to offer today. Coming from a minuscule 1.4 hectare portion of the Côte Brune, La Chavaroche is Levet's most serious and age-worthy bottling. 

Today, I'm very happy to offer Levet's 2015 Côte Rôtie La Chavaroche for $83 per bottle, complete with a 4-pack vertical spanning 2012-2015.


Levet has been the standard bearer for ultra-traditional Côte Rôtie since Neal Rosenthal began importing the wines in the early 80's. Rosenthal's words on Bernard and Nicole Levet have always stuck with me, declaring these the best and most carefully tended to vines in his iconic portfolio.

Indeed, the magic of Levet is derived from the unadulterated raw material from these treacherously steep terraced slopes of granite. Levet works with the oval-shaped Serine, a genetic variation of Syrah more common in Côte Rôtie - Here, explosive violet tones, bacon fat, smoke, black pepper, with a pulverized granitic streak that carries through the long finish.

It was clear 2015 was going to be a powerhouse vintage, and with Levet's propensity favoring the more nuanced, floral and earthy traits of Serine we see two worlds collide this release. Levet's successes in these riper vintages is well documented. All of the blue and black fruits of 2015 show a marked concentration that calls to mind 2005, but the suppleness of the tannins seems to be quite easier in '15. Everything is lined up for the vintage to be one of the all-time greats.

Levet offers the best opportunity for long, slow evolution in bottle of any Côte Rôtie traditionalist. La Chavaroche is fermented with 100% whole clusters and goes through a three year aging regimen in
foudre, demi-muid, and smaller barrel. The new oak percentage is around 10%, which still is less than the beautifully transparent Domaine Jamet wines known for their uncompromising traditional approach.  

At the cooler, northernmost stretches of the Rhone Valley, Côte Rôtie is where we find Syrah at its most hauntingly pure and precise. It's these characteristics that have long turned the eyes of Burgundy collectors south with this kinship. The monumental 2015 vintage is undoubtedly a turning point for the greater region. With less than 200 cases arriving in the US, La Chavaroche is where any lover of old school Syrah should turn while these beautiful wines last.


24x 2015 Levet Côte Rôtie La Chavaroche
$83 per bottle.