Bernard Levet - Cote Rotie Amethyste 2019 (1.5L)

 
WA
91-93
JD
93
V
92-94

Price: $156.00

Producer Bernard Levet
Country France
Region Rhone Valley
Varietal Syrah
Vintage 2019
Sku 2417187
Size 1.5L

Jeb Dunnuck: 93 Points

Leading off the bottled reds, the 2019 Côte Rôtie Amethyste would be a great introduction for readers trying to understand the style of this estate. A perfumed, gamey, sun-kissed nose of blue fruits, black peppery and candied violets give way to a medium to full-bodied, ripe, textured, and (by this estate’s standards) downright charming Côte Rôtie that already offers pleasure. It will keep for 10-15 years.

Vinous: 92-94 Points

Energetic black raspberry and cherry scents are complemented by hints of black pepper smoky bacon and succulent flowers. Juicy appealingly sweet spice-tinged red and dark flavors show fine delineation and turn livelier with air. A zesty mineral element adds lift and nervy cut to the long floral-driven finish wh

Wine Advocate: 91-93 Points

Even this normally approachable cuvée is pretty darn tannic this vintage. Tasted just prior to bottling Levet's 2019 Cote Rotie Amethyste features scents of crushed stone asphalt black olives and purple raspberries. Full-bodied rich and concentrated it finishes long chewy and mouthwatering. Bernard's daughter Agnès Levet kindly greeted me on a Sunday afternoon and tasted me through the current lineup at the family's tiny tasting room on the main street in Ampuis. They own 4.5 hectares of vines almost all in Cote Rotie but they recently added 3000 square meters of Condrieu in Saint-Michel sur Rhône. Harvest there was set to begin on the following Wednesday weather permitting. For the Cote Rotie the recent vintages have allowed more and more use of whole clusters and the soft-spoken Levet said that 2019 and 2020 were essentially all whole-bunch fermentations. While both years were warm in 2020 the bit of rain that fell in July was sufficient to prevent any blockage; the vines continued to ripen and harvest began on September 7. In 2019 the Levets delayed picking until September 20. "We had to wait because of the blockage" said Levet. Rather unusually there's no pigéage here with maceration by submerged cap lasting about three weeks. After pressing to large vats for malolactic fermentation final maturation takes place in 600-liter demi-muids. I'm not sure why the Levet wines hadn't been reviewed much by my predecessors at RPWA but these are genuinely impressive traditionally styled efforts that merit considerable attention from lovers of Cote Rotie.

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