Wine Advocate 94
“The 2018 The Tempest was bottled in February 2020. It is a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Vineyard sources include the Realm Stags Leap District estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot along with Merlot from Orchard vineyard, Upper Range vineyard and Blair vineyard. It sports a deep garnet-purple color and—wow—jumps right out of the glass with vibrant notes of fresh black plums, wild blueberries and Morello cherries plus fragrant hints of candied violets and star anise. The medium to full-bodied palate offers beautiful purity, framed by firm, rounded tannins and a lively backbone, finishing with great length.”– Lisa Perrotti-Brown
The team at Realm seemed to have played it ultra-cautious in 2017. In spite of all the challenges caused by the Labor Day heat wave followed by the October fires that year, they have produced a strong lineup of very impressive wines. Fans should note that no Falstaff, Farella Vineyard or Beckstoffer To Kalon Cabernet Franc labels were produced in 2017, due to the situation that fruit was still hanging in these key vineyards during the fires.
“In 2018, we had a lot of time to pick. We had a lot of time to make the wines,” winemaker Benoit Touquette informed me. “Not to get greedy with Mother Nature was the challenge. We didn’t have the huge crops that some people had. We could pick at our leisure. If you did the right viticulture, it was an easy vintage.” Indeed, the Realm 2018s have an effortless, carefree purity about them, with all the bright, energetic, crunchy fruit that is a characteristic of this cooler vintage. This is not to say that that these wines do not possess that decadent personality fans have come to love. On the contrary, there is a lot of impactful intensity with these 2018s. Yet they seem to bear a cheery skip in their step, which is going to make you fall in love with this winery all over again.