Vins Contés

Vins Contés

Thanks to importer Louis/Dressner for this introduction to Olivier Lemasson and the wines of Vins Contés:

Olivier Lemasson is a sommelier who encountered natural wines when he worked for the retailer Eric Macé in Rennes, Brittany. Lemasson became passionate about these odd wines, and trained at Marcel Lapierre’s winery in Morgon, Beaujolais, first by picking grapes four years in a row, then by working for a whole year in his vines and cellar. After a brief stint as a retailer at Square Trousseau in Paris, Lemasson’s passion definitely took over, and he settled as a winemaker in Touraine.

In 2002, vigneron Hervé Villemade was looking to start a négociant business (i.e. buy grapes from other growers to vinify them). He picked Lemasson to be his partner, and Les Vins Contés drew from their complementary talents. In 2006, they amiably parted ways so that Villemade could concentrate on his own estate again. Undeterred, Lemasson continued on with Vins Contés.

For many years the project was 100% purchased fruit; Olivier would source old vineyards worked organically, often seeking the obscure grapes of Touraine like Menu Pineau and Pineau d'Aunis. Eventually he was able to start renting two hectares of vines, and in 2016 was finally able to purchase his own land, nine hectares of vines he had previously been buying grapes from.

The wines are all made in an intentional "vin de soif" style; the whites are direct-pressed, vibrant and bright while the reds are for the most part short macerations and meant to be drunk fruity and young. Two cuvées, Gamasutra (from 100+ Gamay vines) and Cheville de Fer (from 100+ Côt vines), are made to age, though both are often easy-drinking on release.

Sick of having to fight with the AOC board for the Touraine appellation, Lemasson decided to intentionally de-classify all of his wines to Vin de France in 2012. Depending on the vintage, Olivier will either bottle the wines sulfur free or add a minuscule dose at bottling.

For more information, please visit Olivier's website at www.lesvinscontes.fr/

Image PRODUCT Description

DB0436-18
Organic
Pow Blop Wizz
2018
Cabernet Franc
70% Cabernet Franc/30% Côt. Organic pet-nat. The blend varies from vintage to vintage. SOLD OUT FOR THE VINTAGE

DB1168-18
Organic
Bois Sans Soif Blanc
2018
Menu Pineau
50% Menu Pineau/50% Chenin Blanc. Direct press of whole clusters a day after harvest; spontaneous co-fermentation; aging in tank and demi-... Read More

DB0335-18
Le Puits
2018
Sauvignon Blanc
50% Sauvignon Blanc/50% Chardonnay. Direct press of whole clusters; spontaneous co-fermentation; aging in tank and demi-muid; only 2 grams... Read More

DB1169-18
Organic
Algotest
2018
Aligoté
100% Aligoté. 70-year-old vines on sandy soils, from the only known parcel of Aligoté in the Loire Valley according to Olivier Lemasson.

DB0373-18
P`tit Rouquin
2018
Gamay
100% Gamay. From Olivier’s “young”, which means 40-year-old, vines. Whole clusters, short carbonic maceration, natural yeasts, no sulfur... Read More

DB0470-18
Organic
R18 VDF Rouge
2018
Gamay
50 Grolleau/50 Côt. The name, grape blend and label details change from year to year to reflect the vintage--this year's R18 is completely... Read More

DB0372-18
Organic
Poivre et Sel
2018
Pineau d'Aunis
90% Pineau d’Aunis/10% Gamay. Whole clusters, short carbonic maceration, natural yeasts, no sulfur and no filtration. Bottled in late... Read More

DB0333-18
Organic
Gama Sutra
2018
Gamay
100% Gamay. These are Olivier’s oldest Gamay vines at 80-100 years old, on clay-silex soils and many on their  own roots (aka ungrafted or... Read More

DB3334-18
Organic
Cheville de Fer
2018
Malbec
100% Côt (aka Malbec). The fruit from these 70-year-old Vins Contés vines is vinified just like all of the other reds: whole clusters,... Read More