Wine of the Day September 13, 2014

2005Levet2005 Bernard Levet, Cote-Rotie, Les Journaries, Rhone Red, France.
This 2005 is starting to open up and shows a well of personality, it feels still a bit rustic, but that is it’s most appealing charm in many ways, it has a more Cornas or natural air about it, it is not overly polished or shiny. People used to Guigal with find Levet with a few rough edges, but people that adore Allemand will be very intrigued with this medium weighted and hued Syrah, it shows a lot of old school and is very textural with spice, mineral, earth and not overly fruity. The Levet Les Journaries Cote-Rotie starts with a nice ruby color, fresh and dried flowers, violets, wilted rose petal, light meat/iron notes, new leather, red currant, plum, leading to a lively, especially for 2005, palate of boysenberry, cherry, porcini, loam, wild herbs, pepper and melted licorice. You’d think this was full on steamy at first, but with air things really change and a gorgeous delicacy comes through, the wine smooths out completely and the finish is long and dare I say Burgundy like? Cliche at best, lazy at worst, but you get the idea, the Levet gets sexier and more interesting every moment in the glass, this is classic northern Rhone Syrah with all it’s terroir, style and complexities, along with it’s natural gifts and gritty/earthy side as well, this wine is transparent and beautiful in it’s most naked/exposed form, it is what it is and happy to show you it all, not perfection, but seductive and charming in it’s own confident way. This is a wine geeks wine, no question, but that said, it is totally pleasing and entertaining, drink from 2015 to 2018, though it is really great now now, it put a damn big smile on my face, even without decanting, this is impressive stuff. It’s admirable too that importer Rosenthal keeps these a few years before selling them, this wine is current, great for restaurants and wine enthusiasts alike, clever thinking for sure.
($75 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive