Olivier Lemasson, Les Vins Contés
Olivier learned a great deal while working in one of the best 'vin naturel' caves of France. He learned even more as a sommelier. He reverted to being a caviste. He thought, I can do that too, make wine! He wondered who would be the best teacher. Why the Pope, naturally, Marcel Lapierre of the Morgon. After years of training he finally set out on his own, and founded Les Vins Contés in 2004. It has since become a famous name AND he likes Vleck and will give me anything I want, in modest amounts! Olivier’s cave is like the stage set of an old Eastern European gypsy camp. This ancient massive farmstead has more holes than cobbles, and is rife with puddles, mud, the carcasses of automobiles and tractors, tires, stacks of crates with bottles, old barrels, … in short, it’s a big junkyard. Inside, though, you come face to face with the organised chaos of a genius. All of the winemaking colleagues to whom I mention his name are agreed: Olivier is a natural. It's hard work, but to be endowed with talent certainly helps. Every grape is infused with expression à la Lemasson, deeply rooted at the core of its taste. ‘I make wine based on the grape, not on the terroir,’ he states succinctly. Wine bewitched by the twinkle in its maker’s eyes. Beautiful eyes. And terrific wine. Olivier thinks his Romorantin is the finest, because that grape is so difficult to tame.
A grape tamer; maybe that’s the best way to describe Olivier Lemasson.