Côte du Rhône Villages Blanc Inopia
Burgundy meets the Rhone! When Mounir Saouma and his wife Rotem Brakin (owners of highly sought-after Burgundy micro-negociant Lucien Le Moine) had an opportunity in 2009 to purchase a neglected vineyard in the Pignan area, they did not hesitate! The Clos Saouma winery is based near Orange, in the Vaucluse, just north of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Today they farm a total of 21 acres across 8 vineyards in all 5 villages of the appellation (Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Bedarrides, Sorgues, Courthezon and Orange) including that cherished piece of Pignan site (nieghbor of Château Rayas). In almost every respect, the Saoumas are vinifying their southern Rhône wines in the same manner as their Burgundy wines: they employ ‘whole-cluster’ fermentation; no punch down, no racking and subject the wines to exceptionally long cellar aging (24 to 36 month élévage) in a cold underground cellar; and minimize their use of sulfur by trapping trace Co2 left over from fermentation.Mostly Grenache Blanc, along with a touch of Roussanne, Marsanne, Bourboulenc, Clairette and Viognier. INOPIA translates to “made from nothing” in Latin.
The soils are predominately composed of clay with little river stones called “Grès” which provide both favorable humidity for the dry climate and plenty of mineral elements. Hand harvested. 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 punching down, no fining, no filtration.
"A lovely echo of hazelnut weaves in and out, while creamed pear and yellow apple fruit glides through. Lemon curd, brioche and verbena notes add range on the stylish and lengthy finish. Very seductive. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Bourboulenc, Clairette and Viognier. Drink now through 2022."