- Producer: Realm Cellars - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: Benoit Touquette
- Region (AVA): Napa (Napa Valley)
- Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Winery location: Stags Leap District
- Owner: Juan Mercardo (Founder)
- First vintage: 2013
- Drinking window: 2022-2045
About The Wine:
You know a vineyard is pretty special when two winemakers like Brad Grimes (Abreu Vineyards) and Sam Kaplan (Arkenstone, Memento Mori, Nine Suns) advise you to check it out.
Juan and his team were asking around about Pritchard Hill – looking for a new single vineyard wine source -- and both Brad and Sam mentioned Houyi Vineyard. Realm hadn’t released a new single vineyard since 2005 (Dr. Crane). To find another one, the planets had to align.
Obviously the site had to be capable of making a wine that can stand on its own, but it also had to be on par with yet stand out from our other SV wines. And the grower had to be really committed -- to the site, to Realm -- for the long term. Juan found it all in Houyi.
Sitting nearly at the top of Pritchard Hill, Houyi is owned by the Chang family, who bought it in 2010. It’s a fantastically complicated site – everything on Pritchard is – and the Changs farm it with no holds barred. They’re much more concerned with growing the best fruit they can than with trying to save a dime. Realm's kind of partner. Realm got their first fruit from the vineyard in 2013.
Realm Cellars Houyi Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
"Blueberry and blackberry aromas with mineral and floral undertones. Inky. Medium to full body. Firm, silky tannins. Very integrated and fine. Mineral and stone. Persistent and fresh. Drink or hold."
96 points, James Suckling (Feb. 2020)
"The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Houyi Vineyard comes from Pritchard Hill (from the Nine Suns property) and is all Cabernet Sauvignon brought up in roughly 85% new French oak. It has a rocking blue fruit character as well as full-bodied richness, notes of liquid violets, liquid rock, graphite, and spice, medium to full body, beautiful purity, and outstanding length. It's not a blockbuster, but it’s beautifully balanced and just a classy, elegant wine."
95 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Jan. 2020)