The Tempest 2021 came close to being the wine that never was. Proprietor Scott Becker had fallen out of love with the original Realm Proprietary Blend, which debuted in 2002. Much of the Merlot had historically been sourced from the warmer Calistoga AVA in the far north of Napa, and the wine felt more-and-more old school and without the precision and definition Scott and winemaker Benoit Touquette demand of their modern Realm wines.
It was a simple choice: pull the plug on Merlot or look to elevate it to the true Realm Cellars standard. These guys never turn their backs on a challenge, always choosing the positive option. This meant shifting the focus entirely to the cooler-climate Oak Knoll and Coombsville AVAs in the south of Napa. By building The Tempest 2021 around a core of fruit from Realm's world class Farella Vineyard, Coombsville's greatest site, their decision has paid off big time with the most elegant, pure and structured vintage we've tried to date.
Having worked with this historic site (formerly a component of Opus One) since 2003, and farming it themselves for many years, the Realm Cellars team knows it better than anyone. With the switch from 'tenants' to owners, it's now a certainly that this stunning new iteration of The Tempest is the blueprint for the Napa Merlot by which all others will be measured.