Vignobles Levet is a small estate producing world-class Syrah and Viognier near the town of Ampuis in the Cote-Rotie appellation of the northern Rhone Valley, France. The estate was established in 1929 with a very first parcel planted on the Cote Blonde by Cristophe Chambeyron, grandfather of the current owner Nicole Levet. Nicole’s father Marius Chambeyron carried on the family business and introduced estate-bottling at the property. Today, Vignobles Level is run by Nicole, her husband Bernard Levet and their daughter Agnes Levet. The family has expanded both the cellar and vineyard holdings, whose 11 acres are now scattered in 11 different lieux-dits around the commune of Ampuis and one parcel in the Condrieu appellation.
The vines of Vignobles Lever are 46 years old on average. They come from a massal selection of the rare « Petite Serine » variety of Syrah, which is less productive and yields small grapes with very concentrated aromas. These vines are planted on very steep, south- and south-east facing, terraced slopes in soils of mica-schist and mica. Harvest is strictly manual each year and the grapes are not destemmed before they are pressed. Maceration is slow, lasting 3 weeks, and fermentation takes place at 30 °C. The wines are aged in medium-sized demi-muid barrels, of which roughly 10-15% are new, for a period of 2 years before being lightly fined (but not filtered) and filled into bottle.
The Syrah wines of Vignobles Levet are known for their wonderfully concentrated aromas of cassis, black cherries, violets and licorice, offering wave upon wave of nuances : cardamom, smoke, espresso and mineral touches. The tannins can be quite chewy in their youth, softening beautifully with age in the bottle.