Today’s Story: Realm Cellars
Realm Cellars is a winery I previously wrote about and will most likely write about again based on my experiences with their wines. You may recall my notes on the 2016 The Bard (one of my earliest posts) or my 2013 The Tempest if you’ve been around since early this year.
Realm was founded in 2002 with a focus on producing high-quality, limited production Bordeaux blend and single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Co-Founder Juan Mercado left his role as a hospital administrator in San Francisco to pursue working in the wine industry and, until recently, Realm sourced their fruit from historical, high-quality vineyards (like Dr. Crane, To Kalon, and Farella) rather than growing their own. Juan runs the winery with Managing Partner Scott Becker, they have an excellent winemaker in Benoit Touquette, and Michel Rolland consults.
One of my favorite aspects of Realm (more a “that’s really cool” kind of thing) is their inspiration from Shakespeare. For example, the title of my blog post on the 2016 The Bard starts the line “This blessed plot, this earth, this realm” from Shakespeare’s Richard II, a line noted on every bottle of Realm wine, on their corks, and highlighted on the label of The Bard. Realm’s Bordeaux blends include The Tempest, named for the violent storm and play thought to be one of Shakespeare’s last; Falstaff, named for the fat, vain, boastful, and cowardly knight present in four of Shakespeare’s plays for comic relief; and of course The Bard, named for Shakespeare himself. Each wine highlights a particular variety, ranging from Merlot to Cabernet Franc to Cabernet Sauvignon, respectively.
As far as their single vineyard wines go, Realm produces Farella (100% Cabernet Sauvignon), Houyi (100% Cabernet Sauvignon), Beckstoffer Dr. Crane (95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot), Beckstoffer To Kalon (100% Cabernet Sauvignon), Moonracer (Cabernet Sauvignon dominant blend), and a white wine called Fidelio (Sauvignon Blanc). As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, recently Realm started producing wine from their own fruit which is where Moonracer comes in. This wine comes from their vineyard on Wappo Hill in the Stags Leap District and is named for the Wappo Native Americans who were known for bravery, strength, and athleticism. The Wappos often took part in (and are said to have won most) inter-tribal races during a full moon, hence the name Moonracer.
Today’s Wine: 2019 Fidelio Sauvignon Blanc
100% Sauvignon Blanc; 14.1% ABV
The 2019 Fidelio is transparent pale to medium straw yellow in color with greenish hues near the rim of the glass. This is a gorgeous wine, with aromas of tangerine, lime, white peach, pineapple, freshly cut grass, saline mineral, and hazelnut leaping from the glass. Upon tasting, the wine showcases notes of grapefruit, peach, lemon zest, mango, tropical citrus, crushed rock minerality, cream, and slight spice all wrapped up into a plush and sexy mouthfeel. This Sauvignon Blanc is medium-bodied with vibrant, mouthwatering acidity into a long, tantalizing finish.
Price: $70. While very hard for me to call this a good “value” wine because it is a very expensive California Sauvignon Blanc, I do think the price is justified here. This seems to be a wine Realm put a lot of thought and effort into (after consulting Andy Erickson on vineyard selection) and it shows. I would put this up there with some of my favorite California Sauvignon Blancs in a heartbeat.
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