David Phinney, the wine genius that gave us The Prisoner, has launched a wine project in Roussillon. Called Department 66 -- the region is in France's department 66 -- the wines are very good.
The Fragile rose is OK, but I thought "D66" -- a blend of grenache, carignan, syrah -- is outstanding. It is loaded with fine tannins to suggest aging ability and garrigue character. Department 66's "Others" wine adds mourvedre to the blend and is equally delicious and ageworthy.
Phinney seems prone to impulse. He was in Italy when first struck with the wine bug. He was standing at an airport when he created his "Legacy" series after being inspired by a bumper decal. He fell in love with the natural beauty of the Roussillon region that he launched Department 66 and made Maury a second home.
I'm not complaining. D66 sells for $38 a bottle; Others goes for $25. Fair prices for what you get.