The l’Octavin wines are lovingly crafted by Alice Bouvot in her Arbois winery using organic grapes from her 3.6 hectares of vineyards scattered around the outskirts of that beautiful town.
The vineyards, which include some of the best lieu dits (a lieu dit is a named place that has official recognition in France) available including En Curon, La Mailloche, Les Nouvelles and Les Corvées are certified organic by Demeter as are her winemaking methods.
There are absolutely no additions to any of the wines. It is fermented grape juice with the fermentation carried out by the indigenous yeasts. She does not add sulphur at any stage nor does she filter or fine the wines. Octavin is also certified biodynamic by Demeter.
Octavin produces a bewildering array of wines in the tiny winery. Some are classical Jura wines such as the Pamina Chardonnay or the Dorabella Poulsard, while others are fascinating wines with a ‘twist’ such as the Culrond Poulsard which is vinified as a white wine even though the grapes are red or the Zerlina which is a blend of Trousseau with Pinot Noir. Octavin also makes a stunning non-appellated Vin Jaune (called Cherubin) of which we hope to receive a small allocation.
Due to weather conditions over the past few seasons and the tiny amount of wine she can make from her own vineyards, Alice has set up a négoce company which allows her to buy grapes from other regions and make wines from those grapes. Most of these wines are not made with grapes from the Jura wines but they have Alice’s definitive winemaking stamp, just as the négoce wines of the De Moors carry the hallmark of their wines. Alice and her team pick the grapes, often from the same growers each year, and then vinify the wines in her cellar.
We have identified in the descriptions below the wines that are from Alice’s Jura vineyards and those from other regions.
l’Octavin Betty Bulles 2019
Betty Bulles is a lively and delicious pet nat. Our first glass of this wonderful sparkling wine was quite thrilling with the depth of flavour and the purity of the wine being very satisfying.
And it not your normal assembly of grapes for a pet nat. It is made from grapes sourced from other organic producers and the assemblage varies from year to year.
Bety Bulles is sometimes red and sometimes white but always gulpable. At the moment we have the white 2019 Betty Bulles made predominantly with an assemblage of Molette and Chardonnay from Domaine Trichon in Bugey as well as a small amount of Alsace Sylvaner and Muscat from the Pyrénées.
The wine was disgorged in January 2020. It is 11% alcohol.
RRP: $63 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Vin de France Pamina 2018
This wine is 100% Chardonnay made from biodynamic grapes sourced from 40 year old vines in the «La Mailloche» vineyard which lies quite close to the town of Arbois in the Jura.
The name comes from the lovers Pamina and Tamino in Mozart’s rationalist enlightenment opera The Magic Flute.
The wine is matured in old oak barrels for 18 months prior to bottling.
There is a pleasant level of oxidative quality (from the time it has spent in old wooden barrels) in this beautifully balanced wine that displays hazelnuts and sherry aromas alongside a zing of citrus and vibrant minerality which is derived from the Jurassic marls in which the vines thrive.
This is a lively wine that begs to be served with just about any food you like!
It is 13.5% alcohol which reflects the higher temperatures experienced in 2018.
RRP: $100 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Ivre de Vivre 2021
We’re delighted when a wine as delicious as Ivre de Vivre returns on our reservation list. We loved the 2017 and 2018 vintages and now, if anything, the 2021 is even more delicious even though it is using different grapes from a different supplier.
Ivre de Vivre this year comprises 50% Vermentino and 50% Roussanne and Marsanne sourced from Claude Ughetto beside the cemetery in Saint Pierre de Vassols, which is not far from Carpentras in Provence. The vineyard is almost on the lower slopes of the famous Mont Ventoux and is certified organic by Demeter.
The Vermentino was pressed directly, while the Roussanne and Marsanne were macerated for 10 days as whole clusters. After fermentation was complete the juice from each was joined together.
This is a lovely, fresh, minerally white wine that is perfect with a wide range of foods. It’s a freshness and liveliness that is always associated with Alice’s wines.
The grapes were pressed and added to a fibreglass tank before being bottled. It is 11% alcohol.
And we love the idea of a wine that is called “drink to live”.
l’Octavin Clé à Molette 2021
This wine was made from certified organic grapes that Alice picked from the vineyards of Domaine Trichon in the Bugey area which lies between Beaujolais and the Savoie. The Trichon vineyards are almost directly West of Lyon.
She returned to the Jura with the grapes and direct pressed them before leaving them to ferment and mature in tank before bottling in April 2022.
The wine is made from 100% Molette, a white grape variety found in the region to the west and south of the Jura extending into the Savoie. The grapes were directly pressed and then the juice transferred to tank.
Molette is a child of the Gouais Blanc grape variety (the same as many varieties including Chardonnay) and another as yet unknown variety.
This is a bright, fresh and lively wine that makes a very nice aperitif. Also note the wrench on the label. This is because Clé à Molette means adjustable wrench. Yet another play on words that the French love so much!
RRP: $70 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Vin de France Dorabella 2019
This wine is made from Poulsard grapes from fifty year old vines sourced from Alice’s vines in the «En Curon» vineyard, on the outskirts of Arbois.
The wine is named after one of the sisters from the opera Cosi Fan Tutte. We particularly like the mouth-feel of this wine with its generous texture and lovely acidity backed by very subtle tannins.
The grapes were destemmed and then macerated for two months.
As you would expect from a wine made from the Poulsard grape there are lovely notes of strawberries and cherries, but there is also a lingering herbal note that reminds us of marjoram or oregano. There are also some beautiful spices and pronounced minerality shining through. It is fresh, juicy and light – just what you expect a good Jura red wine to be.
Some carbon dioxide remains in this wine to enhance its freshness, but these bubbles soon disappear in the glass. It is 11.5% alcohol and was bottled in May 2020.
This wine is certified organic with Ecocert France and biodynamic with Demeter.
RRP: $91 for 2018 and 2019 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Vin de France Commendatore
This is a Trousseau from Alice’s vines in the «les Corvées» vineyard which lies close to the village of Montigny les Arsures where the terroir is considered to be perfect for the sensitive grape variety. It is here that Puffeney and Michel Gahier tend their acclaimed vineyards of the Trousseau grape.
This lighter style of red wine has aromas of fresh strawberries, cinnamon and Sichuan pepper.
The grapes were 90% destemmed for this vintage and neither pigeage (stomping the cap down) or remontage (pumping over) were performed during the 8 months of maceration. Both vintages of this wine were bottled after the long maceration.
This wine clearly displays the minerality of the Jura soil. It is light, it is long and it is totally delicious even when matched with a semi-strong cheese with truffles!
RRP: $86 for 2017 and $94 for 2019 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Vin de France Corvée de T 2020
This wine is a Trousseau made from grapes from Alice’s vines in the Les Corvées vineyard which is close to the village of Montigny-les-Arsures (which is where Michel Gahier makes his lovely Trousseau wines).
This wines was, we think, the beginning of Alice’s move to Vin de France rather the Arbois appellation when one year its % alcohol was too low to meet the rules for the appellation. Some time later she made the decision to leave entirely.
It is a fascinating wine and one of our favourites. The flavour is fully developed and very appealing. It usually almost has the colour of a rosé but the weight and texture of a red wine making it a very versatile food wine but also perfect as an aperitif. It is just a fraction darker than some vintages with almost a “rhubarb” acidity.
The grapes were destemmed and macerated for 2 months before pressing. The wine is certified as both organic by Ecocert France and biodynamic with Demeter.
The wine was bottled in May 2021 and has an alcohol content of 11.5%.
RRP: $94 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Reine de la Nuit 2018
Reine de la Nuit, is made from Alice’s estate grapes grown in the famous La Mailloche vineyard which is just outside Arbois.
The wine is made from Chardonnay and Savagnin grapes that were harvested by hand and stored in small crates. In 2018 it was direct pressed to produce a lively and delicious wine that was bottled without any additions including sulphites. (Sometimes the grapes are macerated but always from the same vineyard.
The wine is certified as both organic by Ecocert France and biodynamic with Demeter. It is 12% alcohol.
RRP: $95 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Mus’Cat 2021
Sometimes with a wine made from 100% Muscat we find the floral nature of this grape variety a bit overwhelming. However there are some winemakers who can “tame the beast” and produce wines that bring the best out of this grape and this one is a great example.
For this wine Alice purchased the Muscat from the well-known natural wine maker Vincent Lafage from Saint-Jean Lasseille in Roussillon. This village is immediately below the main city of Perpignan.
Alice normally macerates the wines for 15 days but she only left them for 10 days in 2021. There were two varieties of Muscat namely Muscat a Petit Grains and Muscat d’Alexandrie. When we tasted the wines from tank where they had been vinified separately the Alexandrie was a much deeper orange than the Petit Grains.
The wine ended up being somewhat orange with a lovely texture and a beautiful aroma and is only 11% alcohol. This wine will match a wide range of foods.
The vineyard is certified organic by Ecocert and was bottled in June 2022. The back label has a slightly different name – Muscattt!
l’Octavin Sly Vin Sylvaner 2020
This is a lovely wine! Alice purchased Sylvaner grapes from Philippe Brand in the village of Ergersheim in Alsace which is just a few kilometres directly west of the city of Strasbourg. As always, she and her team harvested the grapes and took them back to the Jura in small crates.
The whole bunch grapes underwent 5 weeks of maceration prior to pressing and the wine was then bottled in May 2021. This is a beautiful orange wine with a lovely texture. It is 11% alcohol.
The vineyard is in conversion for certification by Agriculture Biologique (AB).
Summary: The grapes were hand-picked and taken back to Alice’s Jura winery. They then underwent semi-carbonic maceration before pressing to fibreglass tanks for natural fermentation and maturation on lees for 6 months. The wine was bottled without filtration or any fining and without the addition of any sulphites.
RRP: $64 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Joker Jacquère 2020
This wine was made from grapes purchased from Mas des Abymes in the Savoie. Their vineyard is in the village of Chapareillan which is in the stunning area of flat plains with sheer mountains thrusting skyward just south of Chambéry.
The interesting Jacquère grapes were pressed directly and fermentation and maturation occurred in tanks. The wine was bottled in May 2021.
RRP: $ (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Amphore 2018
The Amphore is a Trousseau made from Alice’s estate vines which all are situated quite close to the central Jura town of Arbois.
This is also where she has built her new winery so that she does not have the space constraints that the previous site within the town imposed.
This wine appears quite light in the glass, but the lightness is almost a deception. Underneath the first visual impression there is length, intensity and spiciness.
It was destemmed and then macerated in amphora for an extended period before pressing. It is very rare, with less than 400 bottles made.
The wine is certified as both organic by Ecocert France and biodynamic with Demeter.
It is 12% alcohol.
RRP: $95 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Grenabar 2021
This is another wine made from grapes that were harvested, vinified and bottled by Alice from grapes grown by Claude Ughetto, as described below for the Ganache wine, whose vineyard is beside the cemetery in Saint Pierre de Vassols, which is not far from Carpentras in Provence.
This wine is not made from Grenache as is the Ganache below. This wine is a complete revelation as it is made from a blend of red Carignan and white Vermentino to make a very light red wine that actually looks like a rosé. It does, however, have masses of flavour from the two grape varieties and the processing which involved foot stomping the whole bunches of Vermentino and adding the result to the juice of the Carignan which had been direct pressed. The grapes underwent 3 weeks of maceration. The wine was bottled on June 2nd, 2022.
l’Octavin Ganache 2021
This lovely wine is made from 100% Grenache sourced from a vineyard owned by Claude Ughetto beside the cemetery in Saint Pierre de Vassols, which is not far from Carpentras in Provence.
This wine was a big surprise to us. The vineyard is quite close to Caromb, the village where we had a house for many years and we have driven past it many times, completely unaware we would one day have a close association with it.
Even more surprising is the lightness and freshness of the wine, something you don’t really associate with the spicy rich wines from this region. It is truly delicious.
As usual, Alice and her team picked the grapes. The whole bunches were macerated for eight weeks (as opposed to the normal three) before pressing and the wine was bottled in June 2022.
The vineyard is certified organic by Ecocert and the wine is 13% alcohol.
l’Octavin Raph-Noel 2017
This wine is made from 100% Gamay grapes sourced from Raphael Beysang in the south of Beaujolais.
Alice drove to the vineyard, picked the grapes then returned to her winemaking facility in Arbois in the Jura to make the wine.
The whole bunches were macerated for 45 days before pressing. The wine was bottled in May 2018.
RRP: $67 – (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Potion Magique 2019
Alice has made this wine from Poulsard, Chardonnay and Savagnin all harvested from Alice’s vines in the La Mailloche vineyard on the outskirts of Arbois.
While most of her estate wines are single variety she does blend occasionally, but always only if the grapes are from the same vineyard.
The whole clusters were macerated for two months prior to pressing.
The wine is certified as both organic by Ecocert France and biodynamic with Demeter. It is 13% alcohol.
We can’t do better than quote Tutto Wines on this occasion “This is just the most incredible colour, with wild aromas of spiced quince and a lovely blood orange bitterness to the finish. Thrillingly unique.”
RRP: $106 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Elle Aime 2020
The grapes for this wine were harvested from Alice’s vines in the “En Arces” vineyard near the Jura village of Arbois. The wine is made from Pinot Noir 75% and 25% Chardonnay. The grapes underwent whole cluster maceration for 2 months, before being bottled in July 2021 almost 10 months after the grapes were harvested.
In the description that Alice gave us she used the word “trempette” which literally translates as going going for a “dip”.
The alcohol level is a very pleasant 11%.
l’Octavin Zerlina 2019
The grapes for this wine are from Alice’s vines in the “En Curon” vineyard where the soils are comprised of grey marl and limestone. The Pinot Noir and Trousseau were destemmed then macerated for 2 months and the juice was then transferred to tank for 10 months prior to bottling in May 2020 a full nine months after the harvest.
RRP: $86 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin P’tit Poussot 2020
This wine is made from direct press Chardonnay from Alice’s vines in the “en Poussot” vineyard (where the soils are rich with limestone) which is quite close to the central Jura village of Arbois.
The grapes were direct pressed and the juice transferred to a fibreglass tank where the natural fermentation using indigenous yeasts took place.
The wine matured in the tank for 8 months before it was bottled in May 2021 without the addition of any sulphites. The result is a beautiful wine that is non-oxidative and very fresh. It is a delightful wine with only 12% alcohol.
RRP: $94 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Macèré 2019
This wine is certified for both organic viticulture from Ecocert and for both biodynamic viticulture and winemaking techniques from Demeter. The grapes were handpicked into small 10 kilogram containers from Alice’s vines in the “en Arces” vineyard near the village of Arbois.
The Chardonnay grapes then underwent whole bunch maceration in fibreglass tanks for two months before being pressed and the juice returned to the tanks. The result was an orange wine of considerable finesse where the tannins are present from the skins of the grapes, however are quite fine grained and not at all aggressive. The wine was bottled in May 2020. Alcohol is 13%.
The label is a reworking of artwork from previous Chardonnay wines from Alice as far back as 2011!
RRP: $100 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Brutal 2017/2018
This wine is another in the now widespread series of Brutal wines which are supposed to be a unique wine made for a specific vintage. Alice has, instead, used grapes from two different vintages for this wine, as she felt that the blended wines were greater than the separate versions. And she was right! This wine is made from her own Pinot Noir from the 2017 vintage and Muscat that she purchased from the 2018 vintage. The result is an electrifying light red which displays all the characteristics of the Pinot Noir with the added layer of complexity on the nose from the Muscat grapes.
RRP: $72 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Hip Hip J… Macerated Chardonnay 2020
The Chardonnay grapes for this wine were purchased by Alice from another Jura producer whose vines are currently undergoing conversion to organic with Agriculture Biologique.
The grapes underwent 2 months of maceration before being pressed and transferred to tank for elevage for almost 8 months prior to bottling in July 2021.
l’Octavin Hip Hip J… Macerated Savagnin 2020
The Savagnin grapes for this wine were purchased by Alice from another Jura producer whose vines are currently undergoing conversion to organic with Agriculture Biologique.
The previous vintage that we had which used the Savagnin was combined with Chardonnay, however this year there was enough Savagnin to create a cuvée just from Savagnin.
The grapes were left as whole bunches and allowed to macerate for 2 months. They were then pressed and the juice transferred to a tank where it underwent natural fermentation, followed by 6 months of maturation prior to bottling in June 2021.
The result is a truly delicious wine with a long finish and a nuttiness showing through from the Savagnin. We love this wine!
Please note: In 2022 we released another l’Octavin Hip Hip J… Savagnin from the 2020 vintage. It was a directly-pressed white wine and is now sold out.
l’Octavin Poulsard Hip Hip J…2018
The Poulsard grapes used in this wine were purchased from a friend of Alice who grew the grapes in the Jura. This wine has been made from a direct press of red Poulsard grapes to produce a nicely-textured white wine.
The fermentation was, as always, carried out using only the native yeasts brought in on the grapes. The resulting wine was left in tank for almost 7 months to mature before being bottled in April 2021 (for the 2020).
RRP: $72 for the 2018 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Cariboom 2020
The grapes for this wine were not direct pressed as with the above wine, therefore the wine ended up as a light red wine rather than a white wine which the direct pressing of the grapes caused for the wine described immediately above.
This is a lovely, light red wine made from two different grape varieties picked from the vineyards of Claude Ughetto (Saint-Pierre de Vassols). Each is 50%. The Carignan had 20 days of maceration (whole bunch). The Grenache had 5 weeks of maceration. They were assembled in December 2020 and bottled in May 2021. 13% ABV.
A spooky side note is that for many years we owned, with two friends, a house in a village called Caromb, which is on the lower slopes of the famous Mont Ventoux. When we looked out the top window of the house we could clearly see Claude Ughetto’s vineyards!
RRP: $68 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin La Cigogne Green Gewurztraminer/Pinot Gris 2020
This is a stunning, fresh, lively wine made from Gewurztraminer (50%) and Pinot Gris (50%) provided by Domaine Marc Humbrecht in Alsace who has been biodynamic for many years. Alice brought the gapes back to her winery in the Jura and then macerated the whole bunches for 5 weeks then the juice was left in tank until May 2021 when it was bottled.
This is an interesting and quite compelling wine as there are some tannins present as well as a little of that slight bitterness which makes a wine attractive. It shows tropical fruits on the nose and is a perfect wine for an aperitif or to accompany quite a wide range of foods.
RRP: $69 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Cigogne Gewurztraminer 2019
This is a stunning, fresh, lively wine made entirely from Gewurztraminer provided by Domaine Marc Humbrecht in Alsace who has been biodynamic for many years. Alice brought the gapes back to her winery in the Jura and then macerated the whole bunches for ten days then the juice was left in tank until May 2020 when it was bottled.
RRP: $ (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Mayga Gamay 2020
The Gamay grapes for this wine were purchased by Alice from Pierre Boyat who lives in the village of Lynes in Beaujolais.
The vineyard is certified organic by Agriculture Biologique.
The grapes underwent whole bunch maceration for 20 days. The wine was bottled in May 2021.
RRP: $68 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Roi des Cepages 2020
This wine was made from Riesling grapes (trans: the king of grape varieties) purchased from the famous Domaine Philippe Brand in Alsace whose vines are certified by Demeter for biodynamic practices.
Sixty percent of the grapes underwent whole bunch maceration for 5 weeks before being pressed and the juice transferred to tank. The remaining 40% were pressed directly. The maceration has produced a pleasantly orange wine with noticeable, but not intrusive, tannins. The wine was bottled in May 2021. Alcohol is 12.5%%.
RRP: $68 (SOLD OUT)
l’Octavin Charlot 2016
The grapes for this interesting wine are Merlot (85%), Molette and Muscat. The organic grapes (certified by Agriculture Biologique – AB) were purchased from Thierry Goult of Domaine de la Saulsaie in Carcassonne the famous walled village in the Languedoc (also famous for the delicious cassoulet dish) just off the freeway between Narbonne and Toulouse. The grapes underwent whole bunch maceration for 30 days before being pressed and the juice transferred to tank. The wine was bottled in April 2018.
RRP: $72 (SOLD OUT)