Pamina, Domaine de l’Octavin

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Pamina, 2018, Domaine de l’Octavin

A volatile Chardonnay with funk and edge

Region: Jura, France
Grape(s): Chardonnay
Genre: Organic, biodynamic
Low Sulphur: Zero
Tasting Notes: Green apple, citrus, minerality, pencil lead, nutty, volatile acidity

Alice Bouvot set up Domaine de l’Octavin in 2004 from a small cellar in Arbois, Jura and started with a couple of hectares of her own vines. She learned her craft in Burgundy and Bordeaux but was drawn to Jura for its diversity and now has around five hectares of the big five Jura grapes: Chardonnay, Savagnin, Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot Noir. In 2013, after some poor vintages but an ever-growing demand for her wines, she started to buy grapes from friends (including some absolute star natural wine growers like Philippe Brand & Pierre Boyat) and now makes a range of wines in her négociant line. Her wines from the domaine are certified organic and biodynamic, as are many of the négoce wines, and they are always unfiltered, unfined and unadulterated (never any SO2). The result is vibrant and living wines that show great vintage variation and energy. She is a true queen of natural winemaking, but a no-nonsense farmer at heart.

Pamina is a signature Octavin wine from 40-plus year old Chardonnay vines, planted over Jura marl soils in La Mailloche, from Alice’s Domaine. It is directly pressed into old oak barrels where it spends 18 months ageing after fermentation. It is rounded but with driving minerality and acidity that bring a real tension through the wine in the form of green apple, citrus, nuttiness, pencil lead surging through with a hint of VA. A Jura Chardonnay showing how different it can be from its Burgundian neighbour.