Rotem and Mounir Saouma
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Magis 2020
Another unsurprising but jawdropping discovery when encountering the Saouma wines: Magis, Mounir’s white Châteauneuf 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 Châteauneuf is white, and virtually all of it is bottled after 6 months. Mounir’s Châteauneuf is aged 18-24 months and has already been compared to some of the great white Burgundy crus for its depth and minerality.
From the first little bottling of white that Mounir did, he became more intent on buying and in fact planting vineyards to produce white Chateauenuf. This wine has been in the past fully from the heavily limestone Pierredon vineyard in Bedarrides, but additional plots in Courthezon have been planted.
Harvest took place in late September under clear skies. The whites are elegant with great length and nobility, their elegance and freshness enhanced by the careful élèvage.
2020 is another excellent vintage for the Rhône Valley. Another dry spring was followed by a moderate summer, this time without the extreme heat spikes of 2019. Harvest occurred early – particularly for whites and Rosés – but the weather was even and temperate throughout. The grapes were ripe and concentrated with excellent natural acidity – superb raw materials across all AOPs. The wines are rich, balanced, and expressive.
Mystifying how this wine exhibits both suppleness and tension, and a piercing minerality that is unique among Châteauneuf whites we have experienced.
Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne
Wine Spectator - October 26, 2023
"Powerful and sleek, this shows a glistening beam of yellow apple wrapped in stylish oak, with tremendous underlying concentration. Modern and very well-executed, with a saline streak, this hums with mineral energy and impressive structure on the seemingly never-ending finish." - K.B. 10/23
Other Wines by this Producer
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.