DOMAINE DE L’OCTAVIN
Sly Vin 2021
Sylvaner grown by Guillaume Clauss in Ergersheim, Alsace. This spent three weeks on the skins as whole bunches, before being pressed to cuve until the following spring. How Alice manages to coax such beautiful aromas out of Sylvaner we’ll never know. A vivid shade of yellow in the glass, this really impresses with gentle floral notes, neat tannins and a refreshing line of acid that screams apéritif.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER
Despite having trained in Bordeaux and Burgundy, Alice Bouvot knew that when it came time to start her own domaine, it would be time to return home. In 2004 she bought a small cellar in Arbois and a couple of hectares of vines in the hills surrounding the village.
Alice now farms around five hectares of Chardonnay, Savagnin, Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot Noir, with holdings in some of the region’s very best lieu-dits such as En Curon, La Mailloche, Les Nouvelles and Les Corvées. Vineyard work is done by hand and her love of working in the vines is well known, with biodynamic farming used to great effect in retaining a real biodiversity in the vineyard. These are some of the most beautiful parcels we have seen. After a number of lean vintages, Alice had to look further afield to make ends meet and now harvests grapes at trusted friends’ properties all over France, making an equally exciting range of négociant wines.
In a good year, she makes a dazzling number of cuvées. There is no recipe and winemaking is dynamic, with decisions being made only once the fruit has been brought to the cellar, where fermentation, vessels and élevage vary from parcel to parcel and vintage to vintage, though nothing is ever added at any stage.
It’s a refreshingly free approach that yields individual wines of real character, the common thread being a sort of boundless energy, where each is as exciting, nourishing and delicious as the last.