• Producer: Realm Cellars - read about the Estate
  • Winemaker: Benoit Touquette
  • Region (AVA): Napa (Napa Valley)
  • Blend: 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Vintage production: n/a
  • Winery location: Stags Leap District
  • Owner: Juan Mercardo (Founder)
  • First vintage: 2002
  • Drinking window: 2020-2036+


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 2018, the Merlot came from: the Estate Moonracer Vineyard, Orchard Vineyard and Blair Vineyard. The Cabernet Sauvignon was the Upper Range Vineyard.


Realm Cellars The Tempest 2018

  • "Rich, intense aromas of cassis, stewed blackberries, blueberry jam, cloves, black olives and cocoa. It’s full-bodied and mouth-filling with firm, velvety tannins. Impressive depth and fruit extraction. Mostly merlot. Drink from 2022, but already a beauty."

    97 points, James Suckling (Oct. 2020)


    "Another multi-vineyard blend in the lineup, the 2018 The Tempest is based on 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon brought up all in French oak. It has a Saint-Emilion-like bouquet of chocolate-covered black cherry and currant fruits interwoven with a beautiful, chalky sense of minerality. Damp earth, tobacco, and loads of floral notes all make an appearance, and this full-bodied beauty has wonderful purity of fruit, good acidity, and ripe, polished tannins. It's beautifully done and will evolve for 15+ years."

    96+ points, Jeb Dunnuck (Aug. 2020)


    "The 2018 Tempest, Realm’s Merlot-based wine, is powerful, inky and quite savory, more so than in the past. The blend of vineyard sources in Calistoga, Oak Knoll and Coombsville works so well here. Inky dark fruit, graphite, bittersweet chocolate, leather, spice and espresso are beautifully delineated. Strong savory and mineral inflections suggest there is quite a bit of fruit from cooler sites in the southern end of the valley in this blend. A move towards more neutral oak barrels with thicker staves, less racking in aging and earlier bottling yields a Tempest that deftly balances richness and energy. The 2018 is a very serious wine and a terrific start to this tasting of new releases from Realm. In 2018, the blend is 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon."

    96 points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous, Jan. 2020)