Cotes du Rhone Blanc 'Inopia', Rotem & Mounir Saouma, France 2016

Inopia bottle.jpg
Inopia bottle.jpg

Cotes du Rhone Blanc 'Inopia', Rotem & Mounir Saouma, France 2016


It’s a bit of an ask expecting folk to spend £25.95 on a white Cotes du Rhone, but there is a lot more to this than meets the eye, not just in terms of flavour (it’s a sort of ‘flinty Burgundy’ versus ‘flighty St Joseph Blanc’ mash-up), but when we looked into it a bit further, having tasted it ‘blind’ among hundreds of others without knowing anything about it, it turns out that it is made by the owners of Lucien Le Moine, the superb Burgundy micro-negociant. It’s a cool-fruited blend of Roussanne, Grenache, Marsanne, Clairette and Viognier (a typical southern Rhone blend) sourced from a kaleidoscope of terroirs, but amidst the gentle stone fruit and honeysuckle flavours that you would expect from that grape cocktail, there is the subtlest hint of the struck match/gun flint aroma that you find in top notch white Burgundy. I'm underselling it, because we don't have a lot and I want it to go to people who don't need hyperbole to be convinced. You will not be disappointed. We’ll just say that I’ve never tasted a white wine from the Rhone quite like it. It’s the kind of wine that ought to give the Burgundians bad dreams. You can enjoy it now, but it is built to last for another 3-4 years. 14% alc.

Burgundy meets the Rhone - a little background
This blend of southern Rhone varieties is made by Mounir and Rotem Saouma, the couple who shot to superstardom with their iconic micro-négociant house, Lucien Le Moine, in Beaune and are now one of the most talked about names in Burgundy.

Loving the area of the southern Rhone and its wines and seeing the potential to acquire land there in a way that would not be possible in Burgundy, the Saoumas decided to take the concept of their Lucien Le Moine house and start making wines from Rhone varietals, but viewed through the prism of Burgundy, which includes the same approach to vineyard management, the same vinification and ageing methods and treating each barrel individually. It started with an opportunity to buy a somewhat neglected 5 hectare parcel adjoining some outstanding plots (notably Rayas' Bois de Rayas and the Pignan lieu dit), and today they farm a total of almost 9 hectares across 8 vineyards in all 5 villages of the appellation (both white and red wines). It's a fascinating and unique style they have brought to this region.

Customer Comments

“Just opened our first bottle, WOW. Sarah and I both love it, very well discovered. Thanks for doing the hard graft for us....” - Mr. A. F.

“Very fine indeed.” - Mr. S.C.

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