Rotem and Mounir Saouma
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Magis 2015
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.
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.
After a hard pressing into new 500 liter barrels, fermentation takes place, and the wine remains undisturbed for a minimum of 2 years, never pushed down, racked and never sulfured. Composition is 75% Grenache Blanc, 10% Clairette, 10% Roussanne and 5% Bourboulenc.
Mystifying how this wine ehibits both suppleness and tension, and a piercing minerality that is unique among Chateauneuf whites we have experienced.
Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne
Jeb Dunnuck - "Based largely on Grenache Blanc, the 2015 Châteauneuf-Du-Pape Blanc Magis is a thrilling effort that has top Corton-like level of reduction and minerality to go with layers of white flowers, stone fruits, crushed rocks, and bright citrus. Deep, pure, medium to full-bodied, and textured, with thrilling tension and focus, it’s a magical white from this estate that will stand up with the best out there. It will be better with short-term cellaring and will keep for 2-3 decades."
Wine Spectator -
Vinous Media - "Light brilliant yellow. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes mineral-accented pear nectar, orange gelato, iodine and mineral scents, along with a deeper suggestion of honey. Impressively energetic, sharply focused citrus and orchard fruit and floral flavors stain the palate while showing zero fat. A sexy floral nuance emerges steadily as the wine opens up, along with hints of toasted brioche and green almond. Wonderfully concentrated yet nervy; the ridiculously long, focused finish features lingering floral and mineral qualities. This is one of the most impressive bottles of Rhône white wine that I can recall, from the north or the south, and I'd have no qualms about setting it up alongside the best from Burgundy."
Other Wines by this Producer
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.