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
75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet
Napa Valley, California
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
The Tempest was one of the first wines, and the first Proprietary Blend, we produced. At the time, it seemed almost uncanny that we were able to access three grape varietals at the same time, from the same vineyard; it was blind luck, or perhaps the proverbial “perfect storm.” In 2002, our equipment was borrowed and the winery we occupied was just half finished, but the grapes were sound that year and the resulting wine reflected a fierce determination to brave the storm. The Tempest is still made with outstanding grapes, from vineyards such as Blair in Calistoga and cooler sites like Farella and Orchard. Predominantly Merlot with lesser amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot depending on vintage, The Tempest is a roiling cauldron of fresh red and blue fruit and silky tannins – a wine that shows what Merlot can be in the right hands, from the right vineyards.
96 Points - Vinous
The 2019 The Tempest, Realm's Merlot based red, is not surprisingly, quite accessible. Super-ripe blackberry, cherry jam, sweet spice, licorice and new oak all flesh out as this succulent, hugely inviting wine shows off its considerable charm. The 2019 is a looker, that's for sure. The blend is Merlot from Realm Estate, Farella and Orchard, with Cabernet Sauvignon from Houyi.
96 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
The 2019 Tempest is terrific, with a dense purple hue as well as loads of ripe black cherry and jammy blueberry fruits supported by notes of chocolate, tobacco, and Asian spice aromas and flavors. This full-bodied beauty has a round, lush, sexy texture, ripe tannins, and a great finish. The blend is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and it has another 15 years of prime drinking ahead of it. Best After 2021.
95 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2019 The Tempest is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, mainly coming from cooler sights this year, including Farella vineyard in Coombsville, Oakville, Stag’s Leap Estate and Oak Knoll, with the portion of Cabernet Sauvignon all coming from Houyi vineyard on Pritchard Hill. Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose offers gorgeous notes of baked blueberries, black cherries and mulberries with hints of menthol, dark chocolate and licorice. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, the mouth is packed with loads of spicy layers, while bright sparks of red fruit offer compelling energy, culminating with a long, perfumed finish. This is a wonderfully poised, polished Merlot.
Product size: 750ml