Rotem & Mounir Saouma

Burgundy-based Mounir Saouma continues to make exotic, singular wines from his cellar located north of Orange.

The estate likes to include lots of press wine, keep wine on skins for years, and bottle unfined and unfiltered.

Rotem & Mounir Saouma Châteauneuf-du-Pape Arioso 2016

The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Arioso is a killer wine. This cuvée is always 100% Grenache sourced from the sandy soils of the Pignan lieu-dit, which is certainly one of the great terroirs of the appellation. Sensational notes of cassis, violets, crushed rocks, and spring flowers all flow to a deep, layered, seamless 2016 that has the purity and elegance of the vintage as well as fabulous depth and richness. Elegance and purity are the buzzwords here, but it packs ample texture and concentration. It’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring and be very long lived.

Rotem & Mounir Saouma Châteauneuf-du-Pape Magis Blanc 2016

Scheduled to be bottled in September and brought up all in demi-muids, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Magis Blanc is certainly one of the whites of the vintage and will give a Grand Cru white Burgundy a run for its money. Orchard and white peach fruits, honeysuckle, toasted brioche, and crushed rock-like minerality all give way to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, yet exceedingly elegant white that stays tight and focused on the palate, with beautiful tension and purity. There need to be more whites like this from the Southern Rhône. It’s going to benefit from a year in bottle and keep for two decades.

Rotem & Mounir Saouma Châteauneuf-du-Pape Arioso 2015

Similar in style to the 2016, just slightly more elegant, the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Arioso is the Chambolle-Musigny of the Rhône Valley with its huge perfume of spring flowers, pepper, exotic fruits, and spice. Possessing remarkable elegance, full body, ultra-fine tannin, and a great, great texture, it’s up with the top wines in the vintage and will keep for two decades.

Rotem & Mounir Saouma Châteauneuf-du-Pape Le Petit Livre 2013

Another terrific wine is the 2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Petite Livre, which is still resting in barrel. This cooler, more difficult vintage yielded firmer, more austere wines from the region, yet this beauty has a seamless, elegant, charming, undeniably Burgundian style that’s impossible to resist. With medium-bodied richness, silky tannin, beautiful balance, and a great finish, it’s going to drink nicely right out of the gate, yet due to its long élevage, evolve gracefully for 15+ years.

Rotem & Mounir Saouma Châteauneuf-du-Pape Omnia 2016

A step up over the 2017, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Omnia is a similar Grenache-dominated blend sourced from multiple terroirs in the appellation. It has a crunchy, exotic style as well in its purple fruits, violets, spring flowers, and crushed rock-like aromas and flavors. I love its texture, it’s beautifully balanced, has notable concentration, and is just a classic, impeccably made wine from this estate. Drink it over the coming decade or so.

Rotem & Mounir Saouma Châteauneuf-du-Pape Omnia 2017

The 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Omnia comes from multiple terroirs in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and is another fresh, elegant, yet textured wine from Mounir. Violets, exotic flowers, blueberries, cherries, and passion fruit notes all emerge from this beautifully textured, seamless 2017. It has good acidity, excellent purity of fruit, and nicely integrated acidity.

Rotem & Mounir Saouma Côtes du Rhône Villages Inopia Blanc 2017

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.

Rotem & Mounir Saouma Côtes du Rhône Villages Inopia Rouge 2017

The 2017 Côtes du Rhône Village Inopia comes from vines around the estate and is mostly Grenache yet includes smaller amounts of Counoise, Mourvèdre, and Syrah. It offers a perfumed, medium-bodied, elegant, beautifully balanced style as well as attractive strawberry and floral aromas and flavors. It shines for its purity and should easily be an outstanding Côtes du Rhône.