Best known for their artisanal, high-end négociant firm in Burgundy, Rotem and Mounir Saouma began working in the Rhône Valley in 2011. They call this wine inopia (“un-plenty” in Latin) as a nod to the condition of the barren patch of stony clay they began with; they planted it with 11 varieties in high density (4,700 vines per hectare) that year. It’s already producing pretty spectacular fruit, if this vintage is any measure: A blend of bourboulenc, clairette, grenache blanc, marsanne, roussanne and viognier—whole-bunch pressed and fermented in a combination of 500-liter barrels and large cement eggs—it’s gorgeous wine. It tastes of wildflowers and hay, honeysuckle and veal stock, all blending together in a honey-butter loveliness; it’s long, meaty and lithe, with a flinty minerality adding a sultry note. For $35, you’d be hard-pressed to find a wine this elegant and opulent anywhere in the Rhône.
Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.
This story appears in the print issue of October 2020.
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