The Somm Set by Benchmark Wine Group

Philippe Andre

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 Philippe André, Sommelier. Join us as we explore everything from his passion for wine, favorite wine and food pairing, and his newest endeavors.

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The Somm Set Home

This week from Philippe André:

I like big bottles and I cannot lie!

Let’s be honest- I’m a big guy. At 6’5” holding a mere mortal-sized bottle just doesn’t feel quite right. I have always been enamored by large formats and the various shapes and sizes that a winery chooses. Some wineries make them on request and some make them to celebrate a great vintage to share at big events. Some say large formats age better as there is a larger volume of wine to cork ratio. Some say large formats are bottled first so they have the best juice. There are many reasons why you should go big but my favorite is because you get to share them. What better way to celebrate your love for great wine with 10 or 20 of your dearest friends this summer!

80’s Babies

I’ve always been fascinated by seeing my birth vintage on a label. Unfortunately, my birth vintage was a very very tough one and is super hard to come by these days. Here are some of my favorite vintages from an epic decade of wines!

BV Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1986 1.5L ~ 1 @ $235 capsule oxidation
Couly Duthiel Chinon Clos l`echo 1982 1.5L ~ 2 @ $291 CT91
Domaine du Clos de Tart (Mommessin) Clos de Tart 1989 1.5L ~ 1 @ $1199 original wood case
Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 1986 1.5L ~ 2 @ $709 WA95
Grace Family Cabernet Sauvignon 1988 1.5L ~ 1 @ $625 WS92
Lafite Rothschild 1986 1.5L ~ 1 @ $2699 WA98, V96
Mouton Rothschild 1986 1.5L ~ 1 @ $2500 WA100, D100 raised cork, scuffed label, nicked capsule
Tempier Bandol (Cuvee Speciale) La Migoua 1989 1.5L ~ 1 @ $475 nicked label

Ballin’ On A Budget

Here are my selections that won’t break the bank so you can keep your cool while Aunt Julie fills her wine glass to the rim at the family BBQ. Let it flow young padawan, just let it flow!

Failla (Jordan) Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch 2004 1.5L ~ 5 @ $99 WSM93
Pax Syrah The Hermit 2010 1.5L ~ 2 @ $79 V91
Quinault l`Enclos 2005 1.5L ~ 3 @ $106 WS92
Robert Biale Syrah Hillclimber Pilgrimage 2004 1.5L ~ 2 @ $103 WA90
St. Siffrein Chateauneuf du Pape 2010 1.5L ~ 3 @ $85 WA94
Volker Eisele Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 1.5L ~ 10 @ $99 WE92

Big Boys!

Here’s the 2021 Summer Challenge: hoist one of these over your head like the Stanley Cup and celebrate like a true champion, because you’ve earned it!! And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram at @niquesomm in the pic!!

Ausone 2000 6L ~ 1 @ $9499 WA98+, WE98
Bellevue St. Emilion 2003 6L ~ 1 @ $689 WA93
Camille Giroud Chambertin 2004 6L ~ 1 @ $1599 V92+, BH91-94
La Mission Haut Brion 1990 6L ~ 1 @ $5525 WA96 nicked label
Lascombes 2005 6L ~ 1 @ $899 WA95, WSM94
Leoville Barton 2000 6L ~ 1 @ $1499 WA90, V91
Margaux 2005 6L ~ 1 @ $6935 WA98, WS97 signs of seepage
Pax Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard 2005 9L ~ 1 @ $899 V92

Check out all the wines 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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