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"if you admire both the intellectual and the savage" Levet Côte-Rotie

Posted by Joe Salamone on March 26, 2011

Rigor, Discipline and Tradition in Côte-Rôtie
2007 Levet Côte-Rôtie La Chavaroche

"There is no more consistently great wine in our portfolio than Levet's La Chavaroche... If you want the truest of Côte-Rôties... if you admire both the intellectual and the savage, then this is a must-buy wine." -Neal Rosenthal

It's been almost three years since we've offered the great Côte-Rôties of Bernard Levet.

These are among the truest expressions of Syrah; unapologetic, raw, mineral, soaring, stunningly pure and beautiful.

Qualitatively, Levet's Côte-Rôties are every bit at the level of Guigal's famous "La La's" (wines that are released at $300+ and head north from there). Stylistically, however, these wines couldn't be more different; these are traditional Northern Rhônes in the spirit of the great wines of Marius Gentaz-Dervieux, the Cornas of Auguste Clape, Noel Verset, Robert Michel and Thierry Allemand.

Neal Rosenthal has a reputation for not mincing words, for eschewing salesmanship and big words in favor of the simpler truths. Levet's Côte-Rôtie is one of the great wines in his portfolio; it's that simple.

Today we're happy to bring the stunning 2007 Côte-Rôtie "La Chavaroche" at pricing that is ludicrous for the quality of the wine, for the amount of work that goes in it, for the rarity and tradition these bottles present.

Given the aging potential for these wines,if you have the space, grab as many 3-packs as you can. Levet is part of a dying breed of winemakers in the Northern Rhone and in the following decades, these wines will be all but unobtainable. (As with Verset and the rest of these traditionalist, they have the reputation of going into the cellar and staying in the cellar).

Côte-Rôtie has gone through many changes in the past century. And while many producers are trying to make more approachable wines (pulling out all the "international" tricks, new oak barriques, micro-oxygenation, super ripeness), Levet makes no effort to do anything to make the wines more friendly or easier. Bernard, his wife Nicole and their daughter Agnes rely on absolutely exceptional terroir and a commitment to tending their tiny plots to perfection - they are definitely of the school that the best wine is made in the vineyard.

The 2007 vintage in Côte-Rôtie is very good; these are dense wines with plenty of concentration, yet they have clarity and, most importantly, balance. Says Nicole Levet: "It's a rich vintage, with more tannins than 2004, less density than 2006 and more elegance than 2005." Make no mistake, these are tannic wines and fierce in youth, yet the 2007s are the type of balanced vintage that ends up aging very well.

Patience and proper cellaring here will be rewarded in spades. Ideally, you'd give this five to ten years at least. If you choose to respectfully disobey, you'd wisely consider a LONG decant to begin to witness the character and complexity here.

This is a wine to pair with spice-laden lamb stews, charred spare ribs or a winter like the one we’ve just barely escaped from. Today presents an opportunity to stock up for all those occasions down the road. This is the kind of wine that helps feed a passion for the beverage in the first place, the kind of wine that shares a story no one else is capable of.

The pricing today is as low as you're ever likely to see it - when our parcel runs out, so does the price. To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2007 Levet Côte-Rôtie La Chavaroche

NET | No further discount

In stock: Wines that we have in our warehouse or 57th Street Store. While our inventory is 'real-time' and we do our best to provide accurate information, please understand that mistakes can and do occur. The best way to confirm a wine's specific availability is to call the store +1 (212) 980-9463 and ask to speak to a sales representative. Exact quantities, when provided should be used as a general guideline and may vary +/- 1 bottle.

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