Rotem Brakin & Mounir Saouma “Magis”

With an objective to create top Burgundies out of Chardonnay & Pinot Noir grapes, the Lebanese Rotem Brakin & Mounir Saouma establish the micro-negiocant ‘Lucien Le Moine’ in Beaune. To produce their wines they source grapes from carefully selected plots of land in the Côtes de Beaune and Côte de Nuits. This is 1999 we are talking about. Brakin & Saouma are successful, but after a decade or so, they crave to have the entire process of making wine into their own hands.

Initially they start looking for vineyards in Burgundy, but quickly hold back because of the colossal prices. Mounir continues the search in the Rhône and in 2009 they find an abandoned wine estate near Orange, including a plot in the Lieu-dit Pignan. Here he can indulge his winemakers' aspirations and the results stand out.

From the Pignan vineyard he creates the elegant Châteauneuf-du-Pape ‘Arioso’. He also produces a tiny amount of white Châteauneuf-du-Pape 'Magis'. The grapes are derived from the Lieu-dit 'Pierredon', with a limestone rich subsoil. Mainly Grenache Blanc is planted here, as well as Clairette, Roussanne and Bourboulenc. The grapes are pressed very firmly, for a more intense skin contact, followed by the wine being aged on its lees for 18 to 24 months to obtain maximum extraction.

The result is a unique white Châteauneuf-du-Pape which is often compared to top Burgundies. This wine also achieves very high scores with a.o. Robert Parker, Wine Spectator and Vinous.

Deep, rich and classy, with thrilling golden fruits, ripe peach, honeysuckle, brioche and salty minerality all emerging from the glass, this medium to full-bodied beauty hits the palate with a concentrated, rich profile that stays incredibly focused and classy. Showing serious length on the finish, this is a blockbuster white that does everything right. – 95RP


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