One of my favourite estates in Collioure is Domaine La Tour Vieille, which belongs to Christine Campadieu and Vincent Cantié. They are a husband and wife team who have been making wine together since their first vintage of Collioure in 1982, Christine studied English and Chinese at university and Vincent first worked as an agricultural engineer in New Caledonia. I first met them some ten years ago while researching The Wines of the South of France, and since then a tasting of their wines at the Paris salon has become an annual treat. I have also been back for a cellar visit and enjoyed staying in their small gîte, which is an old presbytère, up in the hills behind Collioure.

2008 Les Canadells, Collioure blanc – 13.00€
An intriguing blend of 20% Grenache Gris, 20% Grenache blanc, 20% Maccabeu 30% Vermentino and 10% Roussanne. The Grenache Gris is pressed straightaway, but the other grape varieties are given a few hours of skin contact. The juice is fermented in barrel, with regular lees stirring. I think this is delicious. The oak is so well integrated, and no one grape variety dominates. It is rich and textured, with satisfying layers of flavour, with a long restrained finish.

2009 Collioure Rosé, Rosé des Roches – 8.00€
Predominantly Grenache Noir, with some Syrah. Saigné.
Medium colour. Slightly smoky nose, with some ripe fruit on the palate. Rounded, with good concentration and mouth feel. A rosé to go with food.

2007 Collioure Rouge, la Pinède – 10.00€
75% Grenache Noir with 25% old Carignan., that is to say, 50 years old and older. Quite a solid dense nose; with ripe rounded concentrated fruit. Leathery notes on the nose. Intense ripe, confit fruit. A solid warming mouthful. Just the thing for a chilly January day.

2007 Collioure Puig Ambeille - 13.00€
A blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre
Medium colour. A solid palate, textured, with ripe leathery notes. Some stony minerality. Good depth of flavour. Medium weight. Should develop well.

2006 Collioure Puig Oriol – 13.00€
Deep colour. Firm stony mineral nose, and on the palate, with rich concentrated fruit. Some firm tannins, Long and rich, with layers of flavours.

The Vins Doux at Domaine la Tour Vieille are also not to be missed either.

2006 Banyuls Vendanges
Young colour. Ripe fresh berry fruit on nose and palate, with a touch of liquorice.. Medium weight. Think a good ruby port, but less alcoholic.

Banyuls Reserve - 13.00€
A blend of Grenache Noir, Grenache Gris and Carignan, muté sur grains, i.e. before the grapes are pressed. This spends three or four years in large casks and vats. There is some rich liquorice on the nose, with a rounded ripe red berries on the palate. Rich and rounded, and quite delicious.

Banyuls Cuvée Francis Cantié -15.00€
This enjoys at least eight years élevage, including six in glass bonbonnes, exposed to the elements, and the remaining time in cask. The colour is tawny; the nose is ripe and nutty, and the palate is full and nutty, textured, smooth and sweet. Simply delicious.

Rancio Sec Cap de Creus – 22.00€
This is fabulous; think fine oloroso sherry, with a nutty austerity and firm acidity. It has been aged in barrel for several years. One of the great wines of Roussillon

Vin de méditation, Banyuls en solera - 50.00€ for a 50cl bottle
This is fabulous too. The base of the solera is a 1952 Banyuls and the average age of the wine is about 40 years old. It is rich and nutty, with opulent but dry walnuts on the nose, with some firm fruit on the palate, and an intense concentration. A long lingering finish. Quite memorable.


AlanM said…
I was lucky enough to drink a few bottles of theirs whilst there last summer. The mourvedre was nicely used to add something extra to the reds I thought. And the Banyuls was amongst the best I have drunk.
Couldn't agree more Rosemary, nice wines and nice people! For anyone interested, this is what I thought following a visit last year:

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