The Somm Set by Benchmark Wine Group


Welcome to our newest series, 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 DLynn Proctor, Director of Fantesca Estate & Winery. Join us as we explore everything from his love of Italian wines and his current endevours in the Napa Valley.

2016 All Great Things Justice II
King Richard's Reserve 2018
2015 Patrice Rion Vougeot 1er Cru Le Cras
Raid Y(our) Cellar Live Tasting
Read Our Full Interview With DLynn Proctor
The Somm Set Home


This week from DLynn Proctor:

I think of Piedmont and it's majestic hills with snow-capped peaks quite often. A region surrounded by alpine terrain on three borders embodies, to me, some of the most expressive varieties Bacchus has placed on this planet. What makes this nectar so special? Why does Nebbiolo receive the noble treatment that Barbera, Dolcetto, Arneis, Moscato, and so many other autochthonous varieties do not? In my eyes, it lies in the ethos of how Barolo and Barbaresco evoke emotions in the consumer.

I've talked a lot in recent chats about location, and in La Morra, Barolo shows its most finesseful hand. Then- in steps Alberto Alessandria, 8th generation proprietor and winemaker of Crissante Alessandria. Surrounded by the traditional lore of the hill, Albertos' cantina crafts no less than five vineyards of diverse 'cru,' of which Galina shouts with the most serenity.  

Southwest facing, calcareous clay terrain gives these vines (some as old as 1922) what translates in the glass. Wild cherries for some and dried strawberries for others, sing while a very faint hint of cedar gives the palate that crunch that implies tonneaux, finishing with an intense floral poise. It's quite easy to understand why only 700 bottles and 100 magnums grace this tiny, .8ha slice of La Morra, a site I've been so grateful to see a many of sunset. While the reality of transporting myself is quite a farfetched dream these days, the bliss that is La Morra can be found in the glass. I invite you to grab a few bottles for your cellar and join me in appreciating this exceptionally special vinification.   

Check out the wines, including the 2015 Crissante Alessandria Galina Barolo, mentioned below!


Benchmark Wine Group

445 Devlin Road
Napa, CA 94558

Phone: 707.255.3500
Fax: 707.255.3503
SMS: 707.200.4049


Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm
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