- Producer: Realm Cellars - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: Benoit Touquette
- Region (AVA): Napa (Napa Valley)
- Blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Petite Sirah
- Vintage production: n/a
- Winery location: Stags Leap District
- Owner: Juan Mercardo (Founder)
- First vintage: 2003
- Drinking window: 2020-2036
About The Wine:
"This blessed plot, this earth, this realm..." Immortal lines from William Shakespeare’s King Richard II, the source of Realm’s – and this wine’s – name.
Realm Cellars has made this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend since 2003, their tribute to the great wines of Bordeaux’s Left Bank. Juan and Benoit consider The Bard to be the quintessential wine of Realm: a dense, weighty and concentrated wine that year in and year out showcases the very best Cabernet Sauvignon of Napa Valley.
The Bard showcases winemaker Benoit Touquette's mastery in selecting individual parcels from Realm's holdings in 'Grand Cru' sites throughout the Valley, including the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard and Realm's Moonracer Estate Vineyard. There are always dashes of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot in the blend (the 2018 includes 2% Petite Sirah for the first time, making a very exciting Bard!), but it's a wine dominated by superior Cabernet Sauvignon from these top-tier vineyards.
In 2018, the Cabernet Sauvignon is from Realm’s Estate Moonracer Vineyard, Beckstoffer To Kalon, Houyi, Weitz, Farella, Beckstoffer Bourn, Levensohn, Blair and Upper Range. The Merlot is from the Moonracer Vineyard; the Cabernet Franc is from Upper Range; Petit Verdot is from Larkmead; Petite Sirah is from Beckstoffer Bourn.
Realm Cellars The Bard 2018
"The 2018 The Bard is fabulous and also one of the very finest wines I have ever tasted from Realm. Vertical structure, power and explosive energy infuse the 2018 with tremendous character. Inky dark fruit, chocolate, leather, licorice and lavender are some of the many notes that run through the 2018. This is the first vintage that includes a dollop of Petite Sirah from Bourn. It is also the first vintage in which a portion of the wine was aged in concrete eggs, which seems to add tension and a palpable sense of vibrancy. The Bard is a blend of 40 different lots, everything from Calistoga to Coombsville, a marriage of elements that works so well. Although none of these wines could be referred to as inexpensive, The Bard is a tremendous relative value within the context of high-end Napa Valley. I loved it. The blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 2% Petite Sirah."
98 points, Antonio Galloni (Jan. 2020)
"The 2018 The Bard is beautiful and certainly in the same realm as the 2015 and 2016, both magical wines. This cuvée reveals a deep purple color followed by a beautiful perfume of crème de cassis, blackberries, roasted coffee, spring flowers, and violets. With incredible richness, no hard edges, and a blockbuster finish, this incredible wine offers serious opulence with no sensation of heaviness or weight. It's beautifully done and already complex and nuanced. It will evolve for at least 15+ years. The blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, and 2% each of Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah."
98 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Aug. 2020)