Rotem and Mounir Saouma

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Arioso 2019



Mounir Saouma’s story in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape started with a state sale of a small plot in Pignan, one of the most famous vineyard areas of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Within this first vineyard acquisition, Mounir has one plot of 100% Grenache planted in the 1930s which yields naturally at a miniscule 1 ton per acre. From these vines he produces Arioso.

In the northeast of the appellation facing “the giant of Provence”, the massive Mont Ventoux mountain”, Pignan’s exposure brings freshness to the natural high ripeness achieved in this area. The rocky and sandy soils of this original plot add a sense of elegance. When you start tasting you understand why some have compared his wines to the great Rayas wines of the 1980s or, perhaps as expected given Mounir’s renown as owner and winemaker of Lucien Le Moine, to Burgundy. The sheer density of the low yielding, old vines dances with the freshness and elegance provided by the site. On the label is aptly explained: “Arioso is a style of opera somewhere between an aria and a recital. We chose this name for our wine because it is evocative of both the ethereal and profound”.


The small 100% plot of Grenache Noir planted in the 1930s produces bunches that have very few and small grapes, and are widely spaced. The yields are dramatically low as a result, but the grapes are very healthy due to the spacing, and the concentration from the low vigour and the age of the vines is intense.


The wine vinifies with whole clusters after an 11 day cold maceration, and then spends 3 years in 228 and 500 liter barrels, never racked or sulfured.

Vintage Note

Spring was very wet, interrupting the flowering and causing significant crop loss (up to 40%). The summer was stable and dry, leading into perfect autumn which allowed even ripening and excellent phenolic development. Harvest took place in late September under clear skies. The reds are classic – with ripe tannins, adequate but fresh acidities, and excellent concentration (due to the low drop). The whites are elegant with great length and nobility. Mounir took perfect advantage of the vintage, producing reds with exceptionally fresh fruit flavors which belie their substantial structure. The whites are elegant and fresh, rich without heaviness.

Tasting Note

Seamless dark berry and stony satin that flows across the palate with both energy and lift. Captivating secondary notes of spice and floral notes appear and disappear throughout the journey. So composed and easy, it will be completely fascinating to see how these wines age.








"Expertly crafted red,"

Wine Spectator - November 9, 2023 "Smoldering incense and salty iron share the stage with ripe red fruit and a lacquer of toasty cedar in this polished, expertly crafted red, which is texturally stunning, with extremely fine tannins effortlessly carrying the weight. The oak signature will continue to fade into the backdrop with a bit of cellaring, and the powerful, tightly wound core of graphite and fruit will unfurl, so patience will be rewarded. Beautiful and complex." -K.B. 11/23

Trade Materials

Other Wines by this Producer

Inopia Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Rouge


The Saouma’s purchased a desolate plot of land in Orange in 2011. A minimal intervention approach combined with the image of the original barren land inspired the name of the wine, INOPIA, which translates to “made from nothing” in Latin.

Inopia Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Blanc


Rotem & Mounir’s whites are breathtaking. This village level wine is no exception, following the similar philosophy of exceptional terroir paired with high quality, low yielding fruit that remains undisturbed for an extended period of time after fermentation.

Rotem and Mounir Saouma Amphorae Collection


Every year Mounir will select several crus to age in Amphorae, where they will remain untouched for around a year, with no input.  Then a gentle pressing and bottling.  These wines transmit the characteristics of their terroir in a pure, unvarnished manner.  Not normal wines, but then again nothing Mounir Saouma does is normal .  

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Magis


Another unsurprising but jawdropping discovery when encountering the Saouma wines: Magis, Mounir’s white Chateauneuf from the heavily limestone Pierredon vineyard in Bedarrides. It makes sense that a producer of great white Burgundy would quickly become enchanted by the possibilities here. Only 3% of Chateauneuf is white, and virtually all of it is bottled after 6 months. Mounir’s chateauneuf is aged 18-24 months and has already been compared to some of the great white Burgundy crus for its depth and minerality.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Omnia


Omnia, Latin for "all," is a wine that attempts to encompass the full diversity of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation, both in its terroir and vinification. Fruit comes from vineyards in all 5 of the Chateauneuf communes (Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Courthezon, Sorgues, Bedarrides and Orange) and aged in foudre, cement and 500 liter barrels.