Realm Cellars, The Bard, Bordeaux Red Blend, Napa Valley, California, 2017
Overview of the Wine
"'This blessed plot, this earth, this realm...' Immortal lines from William Shakespeare’s King Richard II, the source of Realm’s – and this wine’s – name. We’ve made this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend since 2003, our tribute to the great wines of Bordeaux’s Left Bank. We consider The Bard to be the quintessential wine of Realm: a dense, weighty and concentrated wine that year in and year out showcases the very best Cabernet Sauvignon of Napa Valley. Beckstoffer To Kalon and Dr. Crane, Blair Vineyard, Weitz Vineyard, Fortuna Vineyard and Beckstoffer Orchard have all found a place in The Bard. While the composition of the wine varies from year to year, Cabernet Sauvignon typically comprises over 70% of the blend, joined by lesser percentages of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and/or Petit Verdot.
Realm Cellars is a journey. Just eight years ago, the winery was nearly bankrupt when owner Scott Becker and winemaker Benoit Touquette teamed up to revive it. Fueled by a clear vision, an entrepreneurial spirit and relentless determination, they transformed Realm into one of the most electrifying domaines in Napa Valley today. Now with its own hillside Estate in the Stags Leap District, 50 acres of vines and access to a number of the finest vineyards in the appellation, Realm makes some of the most sought-after wines in Napa Valley.
Making wine at the very highest level is at the core of Realm Cellars. Since 2012, the wines have been awarded more 100-point scores from internationally recognized wine critics than any other producer in Napa Valley. The Realm portfolio includes both Single Vineyard wines and Proprietary Blends – collectively, the wines are equal parts an expression of the land and an articulation of the winemaking craft. The house style of Realm can best be described as a creative tension between richness and precision, density and finesse, purity of fruit and nuance.
The next chapter of Realm Cellars promises to be just as bold. The vision for what Realm can be encompasses more than creating fine wines. This passionate team is ready to push ahead in its relentless quest to secure an enduring place among the icons of the wine world. The best is yet to come.
Grape / Blend
OriginNapa Valley, California
96 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
Based mostly on Cabernet Sauvignon (87%) and a small amount of Merlot (13%), the 2017 The Bard is another ripe, sexy wine that has more sweetness of fruit than most in the vintage. Black cherries, blackberries, scorched earth, graphite, and some violets notes all dominate the nose, and it's beautifully textured and balanced on the palate. It’s beautiful today yet has 15-20 years of prime drinking ahead of it.
95 Points - James Suckling
This is tight and focused with firm, lightly dusty tannins. Blueberries and blackcurrants. Violets as well. Tannic and chewy finish. Vertical line of tannins running through it. Drink after 2022.
92 Points - Vinous
Just bottled, the 2017 The Bard is bright and fruity, with lovely red berry character. The more mid-weight side of the year comes through in a perfumed, gracious Bard that offers tons of sensuality and plenty of class. I would give it another year or two in bottle to allow the oak to fully integrate. Even in the early going, the 2017 is super expressive.
Product size: 750ml