Summary of Grower Visits – Part 1

Posted on Posted in Bernard Levet, Neal speaks!, Occasional Thoughts, Xavier Gerard

Michael Kane and I just wrapped up 9 days on the road visiting our growers in the northern and southern Rhône, Provence, Languedoc – Roussillon and Bordeaux. We were the beneficiaries of beautiful Indian summer weather during the entirety of our trip, one of the few blessings from global warming.

The most compelling overall impression is the superb quality in all regions of the 2016 vintage. The second important general point to make is the pleasure expressed by the travelers from the northern Rhône, Bandol and Bordeaux who joined us in New York City on February 27, 2018 for our panel discussion and wine tasting to demonstrate the EVOLUTION – CULTURE – TERROIR of WINE and the HUMAN CONDITION. Please view the video of this event through the below link, or the first page of our website.

There was uniformly high praise, glee really, for the organization of the trip, the care taken and service rendered by all those on the RWM team that participated. Special note was made by several of the TLC provided by Sarah and Jeremy.

LEVET: 2018 is the inauguration of the new cuverie which Agnes and Bernard believe will make possible the production of even greater wine. There may also be the release of a second cuvée of Chavaroche in this new vintage. The ‘18 harvest produced excellent results. Abundant crop, high level of ripeness (alcohol levels high at 14+ but with balancing acidity). There is an expansion of the holdings in Chavaroche where the Levet family now owns almost a full hectare of this formidable site. Harvest in ‘18 started on 12 Sept. We will continue to import the Améthyste cuvée in all upcoming vintages. As mentioned above, the 2016 vintage here is stunning for its high quality. Harvest in ‘16 began 26/27 sept.

GERARD: Xavier is doing very good work here and he too is building a new cuverie that will sit on the Route National in Condrieu with easy access. Given some more time, I am convinced that Xavier’s skill and dedication will reward us with consistently excellent wine. Although the market for Condrieu is soft, the 2017 Arbuel and the Cote de Châtillon are worthy of our attention as they offer compelling profiles, perhaps the best to be produced here. We did a rather extensive blind tasting of older wines from his dad which also included a couple of Xavier’s early wines, all of which have stood the rest of time. Included were wines like: Viognier 2009, Condrieu 2001, Cite Rôtie ‘99, cote Rotie 01 (brilliant!), Cote Rotie ‘85.

I am opting to send this summary in multiple parts, chapters if you will, that perhaps will make the information easier to digest.

More commentary will follow.

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