The same luminescent late-summer light that attracted the Fauvists to Collioure in the early 20th century also helps grapes reach optimum phenolic ripeness at the end of the growing season. It is pleasant to imagine Henri Matisse painting 'Les Troits de Collioure' in 1905 whilst nursing a glass of the local wine to aid his muse but hopefully not accidentally dipping his brush in it! Not that it would have been called Collioure in his day as the Appellation Contrôlée wasn't established until 1971.
Vincent Cantié (vinification and viticulture) and Christine Campedieu (commerce and comptabilité) founded Domaine La Tour Vieille in 1981 with the intention of producing characterful local wines with a strong sense of terroir. Today their wines enjoy an international following and are widely regarded as being amongst the best to be found in Catalonia. Their white Collioure, called 'Les Canadells' is made from a blend of Vermentino, Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, Macabeau and Roussanne that are lees-aged in vat and barrel before blending and bottling in the spring. It has wonderful saline, sherry-like scents and a palate of ripe orchard fruit infused with Mediterranean herb notes prior to a long, savoury finish. It makes a fine accompaniment to seafood; especially anchovies for which the town is renowned. V and C's red Collioure 'La Pinède' is made from 65% Grenache Noir, 30% Mourvédre and 5% Carignan vinified in vat and oak foudres with regular 'cap-punching' to aid extraction. The finished wine has a briary bouquet and a wealth of pepper, black olive, plum and thyme flavours over a framework of ripe tannins. It will cellar well for 3-5+ years and merits decanting.