From the importer, Neal Rosenthal. Since the 2004 vintage, we have expanded our work with the Levet family to include a second bottling of Cote Rotie known as “Les Journaries”, a cuvée drawn from grapes harvested from old vines in the “La Landonne” lieu-dit. This wine is more subtle, more elegant and “quieter” if you will than the “Chavaroche”. At the same time, it is very much a Levet wine with a bouquet of violets, wild berries, a touch of animal and resinous-like tannins that speak of the inclusion of stems (a hallmark of the Levet tradition). The “Journaries” is approachable at an earlier stage than its companion “La Chavaroche” but, that being said, it is a wine that not only ages gracefully but almost requires a touch of patience.
Critical Acclaim: 96 points Vinous
￼Saturated magenta. A wild, highly expressive bouquet evokes an array of black and blue fruits, pungent flowers, smoked meat, licorice and exotic spices, with a bright mineral overtone. Offers palate-coating, deeply concentrated cassis, cherry liqueur, smoky bacon, fruitcake and licorice flavors that turn livelier as the wine stretches out. The mineral and spice notes build steadily through a strikingly long finish that's framed by strong but velvety tannins that are quickly absorbed by the wine's dense, dark fruit. (JR) (12/2022)
94-96 points Wine Advocate
￼Again a prospective sample blended from several barrels, the 2020 Cote Rotie Les Journaries (labeled Maestria outside the United States) is a blend of fruit from La Landonne and Côte Brune. It's full-bodied, rich and tannic, even chewy, with plenty of concentration, yet it's also fresh and fruit-driven, with vibrant notes of purple raspberries and exotic spices. This should be terrific; it just needs a good 5+ years. (JC) (1/2022)
93-95 points Jeb Dunnuck
￼Classic La Landonne notes of smoked meats, red and black fruits, ground pepper, and woodsmoke emerge from the 2020 Côte Rôtie Les Journaries, another rich, yet seamless, pure, and impeccably balanced barrel sample. I love its purity of fruit, it has ripe tannins, and is a very complete, harmonious 2020 that will shine with just a few years in the cellar. This cuvée (also known as Maestria in Europe), which comes from the La Landonne, Côte Blonde, and Côte Rozier, sees plenty of stems and mostly older barrels. (12/2022)
About. Nicole Levet’s grandfather first purchased vineyards in Ampuis in 1936 and began making wine immediately thereafter. Initially, he delivered his Cote Rotie in barrels to the city of St. Etienne where he sold it to bistros and cafes for consumption by the miners of that city. In 1966, Nicole’s father, Marius Chambeyron, began to bottle a small portion of the production of the estate. Importer Neal Rosenthal first encountered Marius Chambeyron in 1982 as he prospected in the region. He was a proud and somewhat brazen man who, despite the tiny size of his estate, proudly painted his name on the rocks that fronted the terraces of his small swath of vineyards as in the manner of the seigneurs of the appellation like Guigal, Delas and Vidal-Fleury. As wthey were preparing to begin their commercial relationship, Monsieur Chambeyron took ill and they never had the opportunity to bring his wines to the States. Fortunately, his daughter, Nicole, and her husband, Bernard Levet, were prepared to continue Chambeyron’s life’s work. It was with the formidable 1983 vintage that Bernard Levet took over the wine production as well as the management of the vineyard with Nicole. This exceptional couple has now been responsible for the development of the domaine, increasing the vineyard holdings and expanding the cellar capacity so that they can now bottle their entire production. Nicole and Bernard have now been joined by their daughter, Agnes, who has inherited the love for vineyard work and obsession with detail that are essential parts of her parents’ character.
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