When we say big we mean BIG, the Department D66 Grenache by Dave Phinney of Orin Swift Cellars.
80% Grenache, 12% Syrah and 8% Carignan from mostly 60 plus year-old vines in Cotes Catalanes, Languedoc-Roussillon, France. The wine is aged in 30% new French oak for 18 months and then another 5 months in bottle before release.
Sample submitted for review. The Department 66 D66 Grenache from Dave Phinney (also the maker of the excellent Locations Wines and the D66 Others) has an SRP of $38 (Saturday Splurge) and is available for as low as $25. Imported by Bloodlines.
Ideal growing conditions with a crowning harvest mark this 2014 vintage.
A saturated cardinal hue belted in garnet is revealed in the glass. The nose brims with an impeccable oak profile with shaded oak tree accents. A mineral cast of alluvial soil can be detected as well, which frames a vibrant perfume of red berry fruits, cassis, cardamom, and exotic spices.
The entry bursts with a vibrant blueberry and cassis concentrate that is rounded out with the richness of a crème brûlée, or crema catalana. The mid palate has vibrant acidity with distinctive mineral notes of garrigue, stone, and schist. Closing with purpose, the wine boasts silky tannins and a lengthy finish of sublime richness.
The 2014 Department 66 D66 Grenache pours super dark and inky in the glass. It begins with intoxicating aromas of blackberry, plum and prunes with lots of cedar, baking spice and vanilla. Tasting reveals big, velvety, concentrated fruit flavors as well as lively acidity and lots of minerality. It’s a bit like a big over-the-top version of Zin but in Grenache. In fact, it’s almost bordering on Port (both in taste and alcohol level) so if that’s not your thing this one might not be for you but I love it. It ends with just a touch of heat on the dry, very long finish.
Ready to buy the Department D66 Grenache? Check your local retailers.