The Somm Set by Benchmark Wine Group






ChrisBlanchard

Welcome to The Somm Set. Each month we’ll be sitting down with a guest sommelier and uncovering their guilty pleasures, cellar staples, and everything in between! Follow as they hand-select their favorites from our warehouse, giving you the inside scoop on cellar must-haves!


This month on The Somm Set, we’re excited to feature Chris Blanchard, Master Sommelier. Join us as we explore everything from his love of Syrah to his passion for the perfect musical wine pairings.


Vine Hill Ranch
Truffle & Wine Pairings
La Toque 39th Annual Truffle Fest
For The Love Of Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Read Our Interview With Chris Blanchard
The Somm Set Home
 

This week from Chris Blanchard:

As the Beastie Boys said in their song “Body Movin” from 1997 –

“Like a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, I’m fine like wine when I start to rap.”

I’ve always had a love for good, historical CDP from the Southern Rhone Valley of France.  These generous rich, chewy wines are perfect for January’s cold weather and a great pairing with a hearty dish of Cassoulet with duck or roast lamb or anything where bacon might be involved.  It’s really not that hard to say, it was the very first wine appellation in all of France back in 1936, and it literally means the “new castle of the pope.”  In the glory days of 1309 before the Black Plague, the wine-loving vigneron Pope Clement who was French decided to move the main hub of the papacy from Rome to Avignon to get out of town and enjoy the sun and countryside.  This was a region established by the Romans more than 2000 years ago and perfect for making wine from red grapes basking in the sun with reflected heat from the beautiful round “Gallet” river stones. 

The wines are blends, but the best are dominated by Grenache and Syrah and have that smell of wild garrigue; the lavender, sage, rosemary, and violets wafting through the air on a warm summer day.  Rich dried strawberry and leather, cracked pepper, smoked meats and game, with gobs of ripe fruit and intensity.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape remains one of the best wine values on the planet, and I’m happy to have found some stunning wines to offer you through Benchmark.  Take a look at these:


Check out all the wines mentioned below!


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Bedrock Wine Company
Giacomo Conterno
1998
1 In Stock
750ml
RJ94
V93
CT93
VC92
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2002
1 In Stock
1.5L
V98
WA98
WS98
JS97
FM97
This product is a part of The Prestige Cellar
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2005
3 In Stock
750ml
JS98
V96
WA96
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2005
2 In Stock
1.5L
JS98
V96
WA96
This product is a part of The Prestige Cellar
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Prum, Joh Jos
2016
5 In Stock
750ml
JS95
WA94
WS93
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Produttori del Barbaresco
2015
2 In Stock
750ml
V94
WA94
WS94
WE94
D94
CT92
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2015
11 In Stock
750ml
WE97
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Benchmark Wine Group

445 Devlin Road
Napa, CA 94558

Phone: 707.255.3500
Fax: 707.255.3503
SMS: 707.200.4049

Questions?

Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm
Shipping Questions?
orders@benchmarkwine.com

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