I visited Paso Robles last December for the Paso Robles Cabernet Franc Day tasting and symposium. Having just two hours of free time, I asked a friend where I should go to taste some excellent wines besides their wine (Dracaena Wines) in Paso Robles. What a great recommendation going to DéTENTE Wines tasting room, which was no small chore in finding them! The tasting room is located in the alley between 12th & 13th and Park & Pine Street, in the back courtyard of Jeffry’s Wine Country BBQ. A bit tricky in finding but well worth the adventure.
This may sound like an odd name for a winery, but in reality it is a great name for a winery in Paso Robles! It has been a long tradition of claiming that the best wines from vineyards come from either the West or East side of Highway 101 in Paso Robles. Thus calling for DéTENTE (definition being easing of hostility or strained relations) believing both sides of Highway 101 offer excellent wines! As DéTENTE Wines produces small lot boutique varietals from both the best vineyards on both sides of Highway 101.
The winery is co-owned by three individuals. Chris Eberle, winemaker, has spent 15 years working in well-known wineries across the globe building on his resume and experience. From a wine cellar in Weinsberg, Germany to harvest at Hartenberg Winery in Stellebosch, South Africa, Kim Crawford in Marlborough, New Zealand, Howard Park Wines in Margaret River, Western Australia and Chateau angelus in Bordeaux, France. He also currently is the head winemaker at Eberle Winery in Paso Robles.
Another co-owner is Trevor Iba, who has an extensive background in the wine industry. He was Director of Accounting and Finance for some of the well-known wineries on the Central Coast. He also owns a mobile wine cross flow filtration company called TS Wine Services serving the Central Coast AVA’s.
The third co-owner and Creative Director belongs to Julian Caustrita. His responsibilities are to execute the brand’s expression. Julian’s focus is on design and strategy for the past 15 years, with a design background to capture the team and brand vision with cross platform design and media development. This is one label you need to read every word printed on it as there are typically double meanings behind each label.
The Wine- 2020 DéTENTE Wines Sauvignon Blanc, Still Waters Vineyard
(Photo ©Michael Kelly)
This wine comes from the east side in the El Pomar District. The vineyard was established in 2003 by Paul Hoover and today is farmed sustainably and SIP Certified. The vineyard is on a gentle sloping hillside, enjoying late afternoon sunlight and afternoon cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean. Paul is obsessed with the vineyard management from drainage to proper nutrition for the vines/grapes. Paul graduated in Agricultural Business from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and was named Wine Industry Person of the Year in 2017 and in 2019 Grower of the Year by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. This is no ordinary vineyard, but one of utmost pedigree.
Purchased this Sauvignon Blanc just after two sips at their tasting room. First on the eyes, it possessed a deep golden color and a medium heavy viscosity, a bit unusual for a Sauvignon Blanc. That was just the introduction! On the nose a wonderful bouquet of floral notes and tropical fruits. On the palate, this was not your New Zealand citrusy mouth puckering and zesty Sauvignon Blanc, but an opulent creamy and rich juice. Soft passion fruit with a brioche quality filled the mouth. This has to be from continual stirring of lees/yeast sediment, but I did not have a chance to ask this question of Trevor or Chris. Just a tinge of lemon zest was present on the finish. This is a great transitional wine for the newer wine consumer transitioning from a Chardonnay bent/leaning to Sauvignon Blanc. Still crisp and clean, but a rounder and more subtle Sauvignon Blanc than most. This wine will make the Best Wines Tasted in 2023 that comes out annually December 15th. It sells for $28 and the next vintage will be the 2022 skipping 2021.
The Food and Wine Pairing
(Photo ©Michael Kelly)
The dinner was a sautéed fresh shrimp in garlic and butter. Whole wheat pasta and spinach were added into the final dish. Ingredients included garlic cloves, black pepper, red chili flakes, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and a touch of Himalayan sea salt. Plated with a topping of Parmesan cheese and accompanied with a fresh garden salad. The shrimp and Sauvignon Blanc made a beautifully constructed food and wine pairing.
I am now planning my next visit to Paso Robles as soon as possible with the first stop being Dracaena Wines to thank them for the recommendation and next to DéTENTE Wines to taste their complete portfolio!