If you admire both the intellectual and the savage - 2011 Levet Cote-Rotie La Chavaroche

Posted by Joe Salamone

"If you admire both the intellectual
and the savage" -Neal Rosenthal
2011 Levet Côte-Rôtie La Chavaroche

Levet's Côte-Rôties are among the truest expressions of Syrah; unapologetic, raw, mineral, soaring, stunningly pure and beautiful.

For me, it's impossible to taste Levet's wines and not feel a deep respect for them.

There's a directness to them, a truthfulness: this is Côte-Rôtie with its finesse and with its wildness. There's something unique about its plain honesty that's elusive - and startlingly compelling.

The sad part is that Levet is one of the last producers making wines like this on Rhone's famous "roasted slope."

Levet's Côte-Rôtie La Chavaroche is one of the best values in the Rhône.

Neal Rosenthal, Levet's importer, isn't shy about singling Chavaroche out. He writes, "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." The famed importer breaks it down here: amidst his strong portfolio of producers like Fourrier and Barthod, Levet's Côte-Rôtie Chavaroche is one of the best.

The 2011 vintage in the Northern Rhône accentuates the elegance of Côte-Rôtie and Levet's finely balanced style. The 2011 Chavaroche is really lovely in its finesse, poise and bright clear fruit and floral characteristics.

Chavaroche is a brutally rocky and steeply-terraced southwest facing vineyard. There's an untamed beauty here, and that's exactly what Levet captures in the wines. They pamper their vineyards and let the grapes simply do their thing in the cellar - vinification is thoughtful, but there's no artifice at work.

And when we say pamper, we mean it. Neil Rosenthal writes, "I have encountered no one who takes better care nor manages a vineyard with the talent of the Levet family."

The true magic of Levet's Chavaroche is revealed with time in the cellar. A '98 Chavaroche we tasted was just beginning to enter early maturity a couple years ago, and it was pretty awesome. It was absolutely gorgeous - a seamless weave of animal, mineral, violets, olives and dark fruit... Sauvage, for sure, but with elegance to spare as well.

Levet's Chavaroche is one of the most soulful and mysterious wines of the Northern Rhône. This is one of our go-to bottles every year.

To order, reply to offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits