Inspired by the raw beauty of ancient Grenache vines grown on steep hillsides of Cotes Catalanes, France, Department 66 was created by Dave Phinney, founder of Prisoner and Orin Swift brands, a talented winemaker and visionary. He purchased 300 acres of gnarley vines and constructed a winery when he saw the potential of these 60-year-old vines. Today, the wine team produces gorgeous wines, including this brilliant 95 Point Grenache blend, which Jeb Dunnuck glows is a “bonafide blockbuster.”
The wine team harvested the 2016 vintage from the old vines grown in black schist, with small granite and limestone deposits scattered in red, rocky soils known as angile. The region is deep in France’s southwest corner, adjacent to the Pyrénées-Orientales mountain range, where old vine Grenache thrives.
Combining a core of old vine Grenache with Syrah, Carignan, and Mourvedre, aged 18 months in oak, the 2016 release is intensely captivating, exuberantly textured, and laced with intriguing spices, perfectly ripe berries, and savory undertones.
Retails at: $38
Your Price: $34.99
“The 2016 Côtes Catalanes D66 is a bonafide blockbuster from winemaker Richard Case that does everything right. Loaded with notions of ripe blackberry and currant fruits, chocolate, ground pepper, licorice, and leafy herbs, this puppy hits the palate with full-bodied richness and depth yet stays nicely balanced and light on its feet. Rich, opulent, and decadent are the buzzwords here, and it should keep for 7-8 years. The blend is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah aged 12 months in barrel.”