Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Magis
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.75% Grenache Blanc, 10% Clairette, 10% Roussanne, 5% Bourboulenc Farmed in the limestone Pierredon vineyard in Bedarrides. 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 punching down, no racking, never sulfured, no filtration. Only 3% of Chateauneuf is white, and virtually all of it is bottled after 6 months. Mounir’s chateauneuf is aged for a minimum of 24 months and has already been compared to some of the great white Burgundy crus for its depth and minerality.
'' This wine is a work in progress – but everything suggests that it will be a majestic Magis. At this stage it's a kind of engine of blossom, hurling spring-fresh fruit tree petals out in every direction. On the palate it's hyper-expressive and articulate; blossomy for now, but with plenty of marrow packing its bones, too. Look out for this exceptionally promising wine in a year or two.''