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mangiare posted:

Winetarelli, do you have any insight regarding the differences between La Chavaroche, Amethyste, and/or Maestria?

Unfortunately only the last 2 are currently available in our market. TIA

I’ll get back to you. Either the Amethyste or the Maestria is the exact same wine as the Journaires, just with a different label for a different market. I like that wine a lot (though the La Chavaroche has my heart) but I forget which one it is. I would say it is sometimes a little less “extreme” in its rusticity, but still is cut from the same cloth. I’m not certain if the other is a different label La Chavaroche or is a third wine, but I’ll check. 

Ok. The Maestria is the Journaries which I have had on a few occasions and like quite a bit. I have never had the Amethyste unless it is a different-label Chavaroche. In France La Chavaroche is sold as La Peroline. 

Confusing all of this is that almost every website says that these are all 100% Syrah wines. But I know at least La Chavaroche (and I believe the others) to be 100% Serine. (Admittedly, I believe that is officially classed as a subset of Syrah.)

Just an FYI I found on

Bernard Levet La Chavaroche is made from 100% Syrah planted on the Cote Brune on a terroir with granite and schist soils. The wine has a different name and label for consumers in France, where the wine is sold as Domaine Bernard Levet La Peroline. The wine takes its name from the grandmother of Agnes Levet.

Bernard Levet Amethyste is produced from 100% Syrah that comes from vines planted in both the Cote Blonde and the Cote Brune, as well as in the Baleyat, Chavaroche and Mollard lieux-dits.

A portion of the grapes are destemmed, (30-50%) never more than half of the grapes are whole bunch fermented.

The wine is aged in a combination of new and used 600 liter oak casks, of which 30% are new and oak foudres. The production ranges from 500 to 600 cases per vintage. The wine was first produced in 2006.

The vineyards are managed using self sustaining, farming methods, which are quite close to being fully organic. Bernard Levet has been HVE certified, Haute Valeur Environnementale by the Vignerons Independants de France.

To produce the wines of Bernard Levet, it is important to know they are a traditionally managed property. Most of the time, on average, no more than 50% of the grapes are destemmed.

Vinification of the berries and whole cluster fruit takes place in epoxy lined, cement tanks vats. Malolactic fermentation takes place in vat. They do not do punch downs here.

Instead, they prefer to submerge the cap using wood planks. The wines are aged in a combination of demi-muids, Alsatian and French oak barrels of which on average 15% to 30% are renewed each year. The wines are then aged on average for between 30 to 36 months before bottling.

The first part of the aging takes place in large oak casks. After about 12 months, the wine is moved to demi-muids and standard French oak barrels of which no more than 15% consists of new French oak.

Not much wine is made here. On average, today they produce between 1,000 and 1,250 cases of wine per vintage at Domaine Bernard Levet.

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