Rotem and Mounir Saouma

Inopia Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Blanc 2017

Côtes-du-Rhône

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Burgundy meets the Rhône. An utter respect for tradition, and in some ways a total break. We’ve watched as Mounir and Rotem Saouma, of Burgundy producer Lucien Le Moine, slowly developed their estate and wines in the Rhône Valley, and the results today are too extraordinary and distinct to ignore.

Vineyard

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.

Soils: Predominately poor clay soil (3 feet) with little river stones called “Grès” (24 feet deep) which provide both favorable humidity for the dry climate and plenty of mineral elements.

Farming: Seeing potential in the land, 11 grape varieties were planted in 2011 under high density (4,700 plants per hectare versus the normal 3,500) with the objective of quality low-yielding fruit. All vineyard work is done by hand.

Grape Varieties: Mostly Grenache Blanc, along with a touch of Roussanne, Marsanne, Bourboulenc, Clairette and Viognier.

Winemaking

Fermentation & Aging: After a hard pressing of whole cluster grapes into 500 liter barrels and 1,600 liter cement eggs, fermentation takes place, and the wine remains undisturbed for 18 months – no pumping over, no punchng down, no fining, no filtration.

Vintage

Spring in the South 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 old vines in Mounir’s Côtes du Rhône-Villages holdings gave concentrated, classic reds – with ripe tannins, adequate but fresh acidities, and excellent concentration (due to the low crop). The whites are elegant with great length and nobility, their elegance and freshness enhanced by the careful élèvage.

Tasting Note

Intensely perfumed and vibrant nose of citrus, flowers and an almost salty note. Intensity of flavors and structure, with a beautifully balanced freshness.

Color

White

Grape Varieties

Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier

Appellation

Côtes-du-Rhône

Suggested Retail Price

$34.00

Reviews

"Beautiful depth, vibrant acidity, and a great finish"

Jeb Dunnuck (91-93) - "From vines around the estate, just north of Orange, the 2017 Côtes du Rhône Inopia Blanc is a mix of Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette, and Bourboulenc. It's a sensational Côtes du Rhône Blanc that offers up loads of minerality as well as orchard fruits, brioche, toasted almonds, and white flower aromas and flavors. This Burgundian styled beauty has beautiful depth, vibrant acidity, and a great finish."

Trade Materials

Other Wines by this Producer

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Omnia

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

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.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Arioso

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

From his original 5 acres in Pignan, 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, a Chateauneuf of astounding depth and finesse.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Magis

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

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.

Rotem and Mounir Saouma Amphorae Collection

Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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 .  

Inopia Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Rouge

Côtes-du-Rhône

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.