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 Advanced Sommelier Jodi Bronchtein of Press Napa Valley. We took the time to ask her everything from her aha-moment sip of wine to her current adventures in the Napa Valley.

Check out this sneak peek of our interview with Jodi:

Tell us how you choose wines that you’re putting on a wine list that you’re curating.

I try to think about everybody’s style on a wine list. There should be wines that delight and don’t put people in the poor house for every palate style. From the driest of wines to the sweetest- you have to pick wines that fit everybody and are also a good value for the quality. Everyone should feel like they are gaining something from it. I really love small producers as well; I am a sucker for a good story!

This perfectly leads to our next question: Are there any underrated producers that you think more people should be drinking?

Absolutely! I could give you those if you want, but they also happen to coincide with my Somm Set emails coming out soon. How about this, let’s say this. I could probably think of at least 50 wineries just in Napa right now off the top of my head that would surprise people and delight them, but they don’t have the access like Sommeliers do- which is why a retailer such as BWG is helpful for customers.

Okay, let’s talk back-vintage wines. Are there any vintages, regions, or producers that you find are drinking exceptionally well right now?

Oh my God. The old Louis Martinis, the old Rutherford Hills, old Ravenswood, and the old Mondavi are so ridiculously good! Easily one of the best wines I’ve had since I’ve been in Napa would have to be a 1970 Louis Martini Barbera- it was unfreaking believable. 1980 Pinot Noir from Mayacamas? Unreal. 1971 Chappellet, 1974 Mondavi Reserve, 1981 Ravenswood Zinfandel, 1990 Dunn Howell Mountain- absolutely everything. Old Caymus (pre-1992) and Frog’s Leap, that’s everything that you want in your life! Everyone knows that the 1974 Mondavi Reserve is it, it’s fantastic, but when I tasted it, my knees buckled. But wait- A 1977 Mayacamas Chardonnay is the best wine that I’ve had so far in 2020. It was exceptional! The wine of the year so far, no doubt.

What about Napa, what are your favorite Napa AVAs?

Absolutely- Atlas Peak, Coombsville AVA, and wines that are coming from Angwin. Howell Mountain is the only one with an elevation requirement, 1400 feet, but what about right below it in Angwin? Those wines are the same soil type, so if you like Howell Mountain, try Angwin. I also love Atlas Peak wines- they’re structured, and they’re what everyone wants, but nobody knows it until they taste it.

Read the full interview on our blog!

Check out all the wines mentioned in our interview with Jodi below!

Benchmark Wine Group

445 Devlin Road
Napa, CA 94558

Phone: 707.255.3500
Fax: 707.255.3503
SMS: 707.200.4049


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