Olivier Lemasson is a sommelier who encountered natural wines when he worked for an early proponent of those wines, the retailer Eric Mace 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 Chitenay, Touraine.
The story of les Vins Contes is that of a retailer meeting a winemaker. In 2002, Herve Villemade, owner of the 12 HA estate Domaine du Moulin in Cellettes (Cheverny AOC), was looking to start a negociant 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.
Loam, damp earth infused nose, close to barnyardy, there is bite to the red cherry, raspberry scents, assisted by a palpable jolt of white grapefruit, does not display any undue greenness, there’s a rugged fluffiness to it as it texturally fills the nostrils. Mediumbodied, has more than adequate tannin and acidity yet still tends to clump a bit as it chugs forward through the mouth. The white citrus adds energy and there’s a nice smoky, flinty edge at times. Mostly sour cherry, cranberry fruit flavors.