Dear Wine Lover,
Eight delicious barrels of wine are staring at me, wondering how much longer they’ll be trapped in our chilly cellar. These are the last of the 2020 lots still aging, and they have greatly benefitted from extended time in barrel. After marinating for some 22 months, the new French oak has integrated into the juice and condensed into an opaque purple. You might assume that because the wine is richer and denser, it couldn’t possibly be softer, sleeker, or more delicate… but it is. Like purple satin clouds floating down your gullet. Wine is a magical potion that moves and dances in ways that don’t quite make common or scientific sense. That mystery is what continues to pull me into the ever-deepening black hole of winemaking. It shows that if I look deep enough into any craft, there is a whole lot of magic hidden in the details.
Like most things in life, the sweet nectar always seems to be quite limited. Like honeycomb’s bee guardians in the wilderness – you’ll get stung a lot if you want to taste the essence of what is good. Or perhaps this is just Mother Nature’s maternal way of limiting our hedonic impulses? Regardless, there are so many small details that must come together to create these scant eight barrels of pleasure – to distill the vintage into a representative drop that exudes the soul of a vintage (the honey, if you will).
Of course, these limited barrel selections I’m hawking today are the bullseye of my aim and what I strive to attain all year in the vineyards and in the cellar. The crosshairs are always focused on a self-defined, constantly moving idea of perfection. I pull back, steady my aim, and let go, hoping to hit the almighty “X,” the SPOT. Aim small, miss small. Well, folks, I think we might have striped it for our 2022 Fall Releases.
And now these wines are literally all yours. At the close of this offer, we will have 10 bottles left of our 2020 SPOT G2 Syrah and not much more of the 2020 Barrel Select Larner Syrah or the classy 2019 Barrel Select Piazza Bella Vista Syrah.
And don’t get me started on the latest 2019 E-99 No. 5. To say the quantities are meager would be an understatement (another example of mother nature’s stingy ways). If I’m lucky, I might get a single bottle of each for my personal cellar. So technically, I’ll get less of some of these releases than our case members. But that isn’t the point, nor will it ever be. These Fall releases are about bottling our best juice, unfined, unfiltered (whether it’s one or ten barrels), and sending them directly to members. These wines are created with you in mind, all while running grapes over a sorting table burning the midnight oil during those endlessly long, hot harvest days. These wines are not made for critics, Michelin star restaurants, or trophy hunters. They are made 100% for you.
As always, the fall portfolio is our most limited and sought-after wine. Regrettably, none of these Fall selections will make it into the tasting room. For our many Syrah-loving members, this release will be a lineup of epic proportions, a battle of giants. All of the Central Coast of California’s most acclaimed Syrah vineyards in a single box. Who will win? All you’ll need is a corkscrew and wine glass to tune in. Let’s look at the prospects below:
2019 – Piazza Bella Vista Syrah – Barrel Select – A microscopic four brand spanking new barrels were produced of this classy Syrah. It was barrel aged for 22 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered. It then received an additional year in bottle prior to release. Talk about ready to rock n roll!! Piazza Bella Vista (formerly Harrison-Clarke) is undoubtedly one of the most dynamic vineyards we work with. Planted in Santa Barbara’s Ballard Canyon in 2002, it sits on a steep hill on exposed limestone; the soil is white like disintegrated chalk. The Syrah’s canopy struggles to reach the top wire and produces tiny, handheld clusters. PBV Syrah showcases great cool climate elements Syrah is known for and has a great combination of bright acidity and power. I’d say this is the most classic of the Fall portfolio. It is delicious now with a decant but has legs and will age as long as you can keep your thirst at bay. Enjoy this beauty today w/ a 1+ hour decant or cellar for up to 10 years.
2019 – E99 No. 5 – Cabernet Sauvignon & Petit Verdot – This is a beast of a wine. Rich and dense with plenty of jammy dark fruit tones and underlying savory notes. Vineyards include Hawk’s Hill Cabernet Sauvignon and a teeny tiny splash from Law Estate’s old Petite Verdot block. Both vineyards are situated in the Adelaida district in Paso Robles. Known for insanely high altitudes and ungodly amounts of limestone. 54% New French Oak for 18 months. Bottle aged for 1 year. Decant this for 2+ hours or age 3-5 years.
2020 SPOT – G2 Vineyard – Syrah – For wine geeks, Willow Creek District’s G2 Vineyard is hallowed ground. Fortunately, I slipped in the back door and put Levo’s name on end posts that encompass just over 1 acre of old vine Syrah. Yields obviously fluctuate from vintage to vintage, and we average between 3-4 barrels of juice. Of the Syrah smorgasbord that is being offered up today, this is the most hedonic, where black and blue fruit plays the main fiddle, supported by sweet oak tones and vibrant supporting acidity. Aged in 66% New French oak for 22 months. Decant this for 1+ hours or age 3-8 years.
2020 Barrel Select – Larner Vineyard Syrah – This wine is so lifted aromatically I swear I could smell it from ten paces away. It is intoxicating how much bright red fruit explodes out of the glass. Larner is a unique plot to levo as the soil is almost exclusively Marina Sand (yes, it looks precisely like beach sand). Every other vineyard I work with is Clay/Limestone/Calcareous soil complex. The sandy soil gives this wine such a lifted, red fruit-driven nose as opposed to black and blue fruit from clay/limestone soils. This is classic Larner Syrah, with so much verve and elegance held in balance with decadent french oak; the insane tension leads to a long otherworldly finish. Aged in 100% New French Oak for 22 months. Decant for 1+ hours or age 3-8 years.
As always, an enormous thank you is in order. Without all our amazing members, Levo simply would not exist. I feel so blessed to wake up every morning and make wine for you. I hope these wines assist in creating some great memories, sit alongside delicious meals, or mark a great milestone for you and your loved ones.
I look forward to seeing you around the winery soon. All our best.
Bret and the Levo Team,
6 Bottle Membership allocation: Add-ons available before August 29th
- 2020 SPOT – G2 Vineyard – Syrah x 2 Bottles
- 2019 Barrel Select – Piazza Bella Vista – Syrah x 2 Bottles
- 2020 Barrel Select – Larner Vineyard – Syrah x 1 Bottle
- 2019 E99 No 5 – Cabernet Sauvignon & Petit Verdot x 1 Bottle
12 Bottle Membership allocation: Customization and add-ons available before August 29th
- 2020 SPOT – G2 Vineyard – Syrah x 3 Bottles
- 2019 Barrel Select – Piazza Bella Vista – Syrah x 4 Bottles
- 2020 Barrel Select – Larner Vineyard – Syrah x 4 Bottle
- 2019 E99 No 5 – Cabernet Sauvignon & Petit Verdot x 1 Bottle
August 15th-August 29th: Allotment period open
*Please make all address, shipping, and credit card changes as well as add-ons and customizations during this period
August 30th: Cards will be charged
September 1st: Pick-ups available
Early October: Wine clubs shipped (weather permitting)