Olivier Cousin

Olivier Cousin cultivates 12 hectares of vines in and around Martigne Briand, which is nestled in the fertile and generous Loire Valley. His vineyards are planted with Gamay, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Grolleau and Chenin Blanc. All of the wines Cousin crafts are certified biodynamic. He plows his vineyards with his horse Joker, uses only indigenous yeasts and shuns enzymes, sugar and sulfites. Oliver Cousin is constantly experimenting to improve the quality of his wines and they often undergo an extended maceration, which adds greater character to the final wine. Cousin crafts wines that celebrate the harmony that exists between man and nature. His hard work and understanding of the vines in his small Loire Valley vineyard represent some of the finest natural wines that are currently available in the United States.

Read Nick’s latest blog post about the experience of staying at Domaine Cousin-Leduc.

Certification: Biodynamic Demeter.



Pur Breton: – Back to the top

print Cousin Pur Breton sheet

Age of Vines: 40 years

Yields: 30hl/ha 6,500 bottles

Pruning Method: Guyot

Soil: Black loam infused with deep beds of Limestone.

Varietals: 100% Cabernet Franc.

Vinification Method: The grapes are hand-harvested, brought to the winery by a horse, destemmed and gently pressed. Only natural yeasts are used and the juice undergoes an extended maceration. Aged in old oak barrels.

Tasting Note: Ripe plum, juicy cherry, red apple core and chalk tones dominate the nose. Crushed strawberries mixed with invigoratingly fresh Bing cherry and red apple flavors explode on the palate.

Pairing: Works with herb encrusted roast chicken, pan-seared duck breast, artisan pork, duck or rabbit paté, cured meats and young or aged mild cheeses on rustic bread.



Gamay VDT: — Back to the top

print Cousin Gamay sheet

Age of Vines: 30 years

Yields: 15 hl/ha

Pruning Method: Guyot

Soil: Black loam infused with deep beds of Limestone.

Varietals: Gamay.

Vinification Method: The grapes are hand-harvested, brought to the winery by a horse, destemmed and gently pressed. Only natural yeast are used and the juice undergoes an extended maceration. Fermented in tanks.

Tasting Note: Deep cherry red in the glass with a shimmering amethyst rim. The nose is vibrantly alive with loads of crushed red and black cherries and backed by deep inflections of pounded limestone and a dusting of savory herbs. Sticky red cherry fruit dominates the palate on the attack while the bright underpinning of supple minerality and moderate tannins provides theffnish with an outstanding, lip-smacking succulence.

Pairing: Works with herb encrusted roast chicken, pan-seared duck breast, artisan pork, duck or rabbit paté, cured meats & young or aged mild cheeses on rustic bread.



Grolleau: — Back to the top

publicViewAttachment (2)

print Cousin Grolleau sheet

Age of Vines: 30 years.

Yields: 30hl/ha 3,500 bottles.

Pruning Method: Guyot and gobelet.

Soil: Black loam infused with deep beds of Limestone.

Varietals: 100% Grolleau (An ancient variety indigenous to the Loire that Olivier Cousin has brought back from the brink of extinction.)

Vinification Method: The grapes are hand-harvested, brought to the winery by a horse, destemmed and gently pressed. Only natural yeasts are used, the juice undergoes an extended maceration. Fermented in tanks.

Tasting Note: Midnight purple in the glass. The nose is loaded with red berries, barnyard funk and deep inflections of Limestone. The palate is rich and supple with crushed red fruit flavors backed by chalky minerality and notes of iron. This is a buoyantly fruity and dynamic medium-bodied red with loads of supple minerality backed by a silken note of acidity.

Pairing: Works beautifully with rabbit stew, veal chops, braised pork loin, paté, herb encrusted roast chicken or simply by itself.


Vielles Vignes Cabernet Franc: – Back to the top

Print Vielles Vignes tech sheet

Age of Vines: 65 years.

Pruning Method: Guyot.

Soil: Black loam infused with deep beds of Limestone.

Vinification Method: The grapes are hand-harvested, brought to the winery by a horse, destemmed and gently pressed. Only natural yeast are used and the juice undergoes an extended maceration. Fermented and aged in a large wood tank (500 Liters) for 18 months.

 

 

 

8 Responses to Olivier Cousin

  1. […] The same goes for the awkwardly dubbed “Natural Wine” movement. Thierry Puzelat, Axel Prufer, Olivier Cousin and Noëlla Morantin—to name a few—make some of the most vibrant and interesting wines we have […]

  2. […] Olivier Cousin, along with everyone else in attendance, thought it would be brilliant if Christina sabered a bottle of wine with an axe. It was. […]

  3. […] Olivier Cousin is one of the leaders in the natural wine movement in the Loire, and in France.  While noted for many things, I think Cousin’s horse Joker, which he uses to plow his fields has become an iconic symbol for not only Cousin, but natural wine in general.  The Cousin wines are part of the fantastic all natural wine portfolio of Jenny & Francois.  Like a few other importers that I admire, a Jenny & Francois label on the back of a bottle is a guarantee to a great and authentic wine experience.    […]

  4. […] wine scene. From the sounds of things, he works very hard: he apparently forgoes machinery to plow the vineyards with his horse, Joker. His Le Cousin 2011 Grolleau (a grape mostly grown in the Loire) comes from 30-year-old vines and […]

  5. […] Organic chicken liver pâté with Olivier Cousin Gamay  […]

  6. […] Hombres, only using sailpower. Based upon previous success, Rosforth & Rosforth and winemaker Olivier Cousin decided to on a larger  Fair Transport shipment this […]

  7. […] plum, subtle spice notes, and characteristic earthy aromas, thanks to some time in new French oak. Domaine Cousin-Leduc, Le Cousin Rouge “Le Groulle” Loire: This wine is produced from an ancient grape on the […]

  8. […] 2011, French vintner Olivier Cousin intentionally provoked court proceedings with the threat of his being fined up to 37,000 Euros, and […]