17 May Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Détente Wines 2021 Classified (60% Pinot Noir/20% Grenache/20% Graciano), Central Coast
When I first looked at the label, I was intrigued but perplexed. I saw Pinot Noir, Grenache, AND Graciano on the label. Definitely not three grapes one would typically see combined, especially Pinot Noir which is traditionally a single-varietal wine. But there were the three grapes on the label in a wine blend. How would a blend like this come to be? Détente Wines co-owner Trevor Iba explained that in 2017, they had some Grenache, but not enough to fill a barrel. So, they added it to the Pinot Noir and it worked and they have been making this blend ever since. And when I opened the bottled and tasted the wine, I was happily surprised and what a tasty, easy-drinking wine it was. That is why the Détente Wines 2021 Classified (60% Pinot/20% Grenache/20% Graciano), Central Coast is the Please The Palate wine of the week.
ABOUT DETENTE WINES
Located in Paso Robles, Détente Wines is a boutique wine producer owned by three friends. Chris Eberle is the co-owner and Winemaker, Trevor Iba is the co-owner and Director of Accounting, and Julian Caustrita is the co-owner and Creative Director. Chris and Trevor met while working at Eberle Wines where Chris is the winemaker (there is no familial relation between Gary Eberle and Chris Eberle, just pure coincidence). In 2017, they had access to some Pinot Noir from Stolo Vineyard in Cambria, as well as some Grenache, and they started to play around on the side. From this first blend, Détente Wines was born.
Détente is a Cold War era term that means the easing of hostility or strained relations, especially between countries. Living in Paso Robles, there are 11 Viticultural Areas and often there is talk about what side is better, the West Side of Paso Robles or the East Side. The idea behind Détente Wines was to say both sides make good wine and one side is not better than another. They source from both sides to produce small lot classic wines from their favorite varieties from the best vineyards in Paso Robles.
Since 2017, the Détente Wines Classified is a blend of Pinot Noir and Grenache. But, in 2021, they had extra Graciano so they added it. So the final blend of the 2021 Classified is 60% Pinot Noir, 20% Grenache, and 20% Graciano. The Pinot Noir is sourced from the LaFond Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills in the Santa Ynez Valley and the Grenache and Graciano come from the Colburn Vineyard in the Adelaida District in Paso Robles. As a result the wine is labeled “Central Coast”.
For a fun play on the “Classified” name, the label looks like a classified document with redacted words. The only words you can read are the grapes and where they are from. It is playful and unique, like the wine, which is juicy with notes of cranberry, raspberry, cherry, and passion fruit. The wine has medium tannins and balanced acidity.
The 2021 Détente Wines Classified is a fresh, drinkable red wine that can be drunk any day. It is enjoyable on its own but can be paired with grilled chicken or pork, a portobello mushroom and parmigiana salad, or even a Smoked Pork Bánh Mì with smoked Pork Loin, Hoisin BBQ Sauce, pickled onions, carrots, radish & jalapeños, sliced cucumber, cilantro & sriracha aioli, on a toasted French roll from Jeffry’s Wine Country Barbecue in Paso Robles which is located in front of the Détente Wines tasting room.
WHERE TO PURCHASE
The 2021 Classified retails for $35 and can be purchased directly from Détente Wines.