• Producer: Realm Cellars - read about the Estate
  • Winemaker: Benoit Touquette
  • Region (AVA): Napa (Napa Valley)
  • Blend: 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
  • Vintage production: n/a
  • Winery location: Stags Leap District
  • Owners: Scott Becker & Benoit Touquette
  • First vintage: 2002
  • Drinking window: 2020-2040+


About The Wine:


The Tempest – a famous play, a violent storm, and the name of Realm's Merlot-based blend, fashioned after the great wines of Pomerol in Bordeaux.


The Tempest was the first proprietary wine Realm released, so named for the “perfect” storm of three grape varietals that became available at the same time, from the same vineyard, in 2002 - the year of Realm's tumultuous beginning. Though the equipment was borrowed and the winery they occupied unfinished, the grapes were sound that year – beautiful in fact – and the resulting wine reflected a fierce determination to brave the storm.


The Tempest is still made with beautiful grapes, from vineyards such as Beckstoffer Orchard and Dr. Crane, as well as Blair Vineyard in Calistoga. Predominantly Merlot, with lesser amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot depending on vintage, The Tempest is a roiling cauldron of lush, bright, red fruit – a wine that shows what Merlot can be in the right hands, from the right vineyards.


In 2017 the Merlot comes from Fortuna, Blair and Beckstoffer Orchard. The Cabernet Sauvignon is from Realm’s Estate Vineyard in the Stags Leap District, and the Cabernet Franc was from Fortuna.


A heat spell over Labor Day kicked the 2017 harvest into high gear after a relatively benign growing season. The Tempest is always a fresh wine, but 2017 may be the freshest yet, with a profile that is bright and vibrant.


Realm Cellars The Tempest 2017

  • "Beautiful blueberries and violets with tar and spice. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a delicious finish. Complex flavors of blackberries and flowers at the finish. So delicious. Merlot with cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. Drink or hold."

    96 points, James Suckling (Feb. 2020)


    "The Merlot-dominated wine in the lineup is the 2017 The Tempest and it's a beauty in the vintage, offering a saturated purple hue as well as classy notes of blackberries, black cherries, licorice, crushed violets, barbecue smoke, and hints of espresso roast. It's deep, full-bodied, has stunning purity of fruit, no hard edges, and the purity and balance that's become the hallmark of this estate."

    94 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Jan. 2020)