javascript:void(null);


clublogoicon






The French Laundry

Desmond Echavarrie

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 Desmond Echavarrie, Master Sommelier.  





This week from Desmond Echavarrie:

During my time as a sommelier at The French Laundry, the most rewarding part was the opportunity to build friendships with some of the best winemakers in California. It was insane how many great California wines we were able to procure that the rest of the world had never heard of. Working at TFL, it’s easy to become deeply entrenched in Napa Valley wine; discovering the truly hidden gems of this amazing valley has been a theme of my career for the last decade. Here are some of my absolute favorite wines from my time at the iconic Yountville restaurant.

Shibumi Knoll Vineyards – When I started working at TFL we poured Shibumi Knoll Chardonnay by the glass. The only other restaurant in the country that had it was Redd down the street. Today we represent the wine nationally but it is still next to impossible to get given the miniscule production. The Chardonnay is from the last 2.5 acres of 50 year old Wente clones that is dry farmed. Truly a viticultural time capsule and one of the great Chardonnays produced by Thomas Rivers Brown

Buena Tierra Vineyard Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2018
Shibumi Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2018

Massican – Dan Petroski and I became fast friends right when I moved to Napa in 2011. While I always admired his wines from Larkmead, the dedication and passion he had for his Italian varietal whites was totally infectious. We poured Massican by the glass and as a pairing wine for years and now it is seriously hard to find but the quality continues to increase every year.

Annia White Blend, Napa Valley 2020

Arietta – Andy Erickson and Fritz Hatton would become very important figures in my career. Arietta was one of the brands I knew about from my time working in Vegas and Chicago but didn’t have much knowledge of. I remember Andy making time to taste with the wine team and totally falling in love with this balanced style of Napa Valley.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2018
Quartet Red Blend, Napa Valley 2019

Realm Cellars – The founder of Realm Juan Mercado was the very first friend I made when I moved to Napa Valley over a decade ago. My first introduction to Realm Cellars was seeing it on the wine list at French Laundry. I had no idea at the time, but Realm would play a major role in my career and Juan would introduce me to my now wife Genevieve. It was at Realm that I really learned about and fell in love with the business of wine. We saw the brand grow to new heights under the direction of a masterful winemaker, Benoit Touquette. Today it would be hard to overstate the quality of their wines. As is with The French Laundry, I’m very grateful to have been a small part of the story of Realm.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Beckstoffer to Kalon Vineyard, Oakville, Napa Valley 2018
The Bard Red Wine, Napa Valley 2017


Check out the wines below!

Sort

Arietta
2018
16 In Stock
750ml
V96
WE94
CT94
Favorite
Share
View All Wines
Realm Cellars
2018
2 In Stock
750ml
WA98
JS98
JD98
V97
CT96
Favorite
Share
2018
1 Pre-Arrival
750ml
WA98
JS98
JD98
V97
CT96

Wines due to arrive June - July 2024

Favorite
Share
2017
2 In Stock
750ml
JD96
JS95
Favorite
Share
View All Wines

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

Included in Wine Enthusiast's 50 Best Wine Retailers in America