Realm The Tempest 2018
Another multi-vineyard blend in the lineup, the 2018 The Tempest is based on 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon brought up all in French oak. It has a Saint-Emilion-like bouquet of chocolate-covered black cherry and currant fruits interwoven with a beautiful, chalky sense of minerality. Damp earth, tobacco, and loads of floral notes all make an appearance, and this full-bodied beauty has wonderful purity of fruit, good acidity, and ripe, polished tannins. It's beautifully done and will evolve for 15+ years.
The 2018 Tempest, Realm's Merlot-based wine, is powerful, inky and quite savory, more so than in the past. The blend of vineyard sources in Calistoga, Oak Knoll and Coombsville works so well here. Inky dark fruit, graphite, bittersweet chocolate, leather, spice and espresso are beautifully delineated. Strong savory and mineral inflections suggest there is quite a bit of fruit from cooler sites in the southern end of the valley in this blend. A move towards more neutral oak barrels with thicker staves, less racking in aging and earlier bottling yields a Tempest that deftly balances richness and energy. The 2018 is a very serious wine and a terrific start to this tasting of new releases from Realm. In 2018, the blend is 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon.