2020 SAOUMA Omnia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Southern Rhone Valley, France – WS 95

2020 SAOUMA Omnia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Southern Rhone Valley, France – WS 95



Best known for more than two decades in Burgundy as “micro-negociants” under the highly coveted, luxury label Lucien le Moines, the Rotem and Mounir Saouma’s shift in focus to the southern Rhone began when they were able to purchase an historic, old vineyard in Pignan, the finest subregion of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  Everyone instantly began buzzing because their Chateauneuf-du-Pape releases displayed an uncommon and never seen before, refinement, finesse, transparency and elegance.  Huh?  Yes, indeed!  More like Burgundian styled Chateauneuf-du-Pape, or Burgundy with more generosity!

As Rayas was under the legendary Jacques Reynaud, these are wines of a singular style with length, layers of flavor and balance to blossom with age like no other Chateauneuf du Pape.

Omnia means “all” in Latin.  According to Mounir Saouma, Omnia represents the “mosaic” of soils that make up all of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  Today, they own parcels in all five villages of Chateauneuf, covering 9 different soil types and including all 13 grape varieties.  All of wines are 100% Estate.  The vineyards can be quite varied, from the hillside vineyard at La Pointu, to a parcel of vines at Esqueirons planted to white limestone, or the plot at La Bigote which is covered in Chateauneuf’s fabled galets roulés. For Omnia, each site adds its own character to a complex wine that has vaulted to the top tier of the Chateauneuf pyramid.

The Saoumas age Omnia in a variety of different sized vessels, including wooden foudres, cement tanks, to high-tech ceramic eggs.  They found that adding lees and extending its contact with the wines enhanced the expression of greater purity and transparency.  The wines are never racked and only treated with sulfur after 18 months on the lees, and even then, they are only sulfured once.  The 2018 cuvee consists of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre. Vinified with whole clusters.

“An ethereal red, with beautiful energy in spite of its power. Ripe cherry and kirsch wrap around a spine of iron and a sanguine thread of smoke and meat. Grilled cedar and mesquite smoke layer in, with very refined tannins guiding the very long and complex finish. Savory and racy, with impressive elegance. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2035. 120 cases imported.” – 95 points, Wine Spectator