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Rotem & mounir saoma

RHONE | FRANCE

Burgundy meets the Rhone. The Burgundy producer of Lucien Le Moine, has slowly developed their estate and wines in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and the results today are too extraordinary and distinct to ignore.

The sheer vitality of these vines today is extraordinary. We know and love Mounir Saouma because of the way he transmits both unknown and acknowledged great crus of Burgundy through his elevage into masterpieces, but it turns out he may be an even more talented vineyard manager. Mounir’s philosophy is in theory straightforward. He has worked to improve drainage in his vineyards, works with organic manures, and doesn’t mind the low yields he is getting in his plots. As is the case with most things in life, simplicity appears only after deliberation and experience.

Today the farm consists of 21 acres spread across 8 vineyards in all 5 villages of the appellation (Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Bedarrides, Sorgues, Courthezon and Orange). The kaleidiscope of the terroirs he works with is reflected in the cellar, as well, where a combination of barrels, foudres, cement, and eggs are used, all except the last of which can be considered “traditional” within the diversity of Chateauneuf’s viticultural history. The fruit is pressed firmly with small presses dating from the late 1970s, left in tank to macerate at relatively cool temperatures for 8 days, and then transferred to the various vessels. The wines are never punched down, never racked, and never sulfured until a light addition a month before bottling. They age for between 24-36 months, including the white.

The wines are stunning: precise, intense, complex, expressive visions of Chateauneuf.