Vins Contés (Olivier Lemasson)

Vins Contés (Olivier Lemasson)

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 Country / Region Region Materials

DB3334-17
Organic
Cheville de Fer
2017
Malbec
100% Malbec (aka Côt locally). From 70-year-old vines. As for all of Olivier's reds: whole-cluster carbonic maceration, natural yeasts, no... Read More
France Loire

DB0372-17
Organic
Poivre et Gel
2017
Pineau d'Aunis
80% Grolleau/10% Pineau d'Aunis/10% Gamay. Named "Poivre et Gel" as a play on the wine's regular "Poivre et Sel" and a nod to the... Read More
France Loire

DB0436-17
Organic
Pow Blop Wizz
2017
Cabernet Franc
70% Cabernet Franc/30% Côt. Organic pet-nat. The blend varies from vintage to vintage.
France Loire

DB1168-17
Organic
Bois Sans Soif Blanc
2017
Menu Pineau
50% Menu Pineau/50% Chenin Blanc. Co-fermented. Bottled in March 2017 with no sulfur and no filtration. Bois Sans Soif translates as  "... Read More
France Loire

DB0470-17
Organic
R17 VDF Rouge
2017
Gamay
Gamay/Cabernet Franc/Syrah/Grenache. The name and make-up of the wine are adjusted yearly to reflect the vintage, hence the "R17" moniker... Read More
France Loire

DB0333-16
Organic
Gama Sutra
2016
Gamay
100% Gamay. From 80-100-year-old vines on silex (flint) soils. As for all of Olivier's reds: whole-cluster carbonic maceration,... Read More
France Loire

DB3334-16
Organic
Cheville de Fer
2016
Malbec
100% Malbec (aka Côt locally). From 70-year-old vines. As for all of Olivier's reds: whole-cluster carbonic maceration, natural yeasts, no... Read More
France Loire

DB1168-16
Bois Sans Soif Blanc
2016
Romorantin
50% Menu Pineau/50% Chenin Blanc. Co-fermented. Bottled in March 2017 with no sulfur and no filtration. Bois Sans Soif translates as  "... Read More
France Loire

DB0372-16
Organic
Poivre et Sel
2016
Pineau d'Aunis
90% Pineau d'Aunis/10% Gamay. From a single parcel with sandy, flinty soils and with 60-year-old Pineau d'Aunis vines and 20-year-old Gamay... Read More
France Loire