2018 Realm Cellars The Bard Proprietary Blend

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  • Quintessential Wine of Realm
  • Multiple 98+ Scores
  • Highly Allocated Bottling
  • Featured on Michelin Starred Wine Lists
  • 96+ Scores Every Year Since 2012
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About the Wine

The complexity of 2018 The Bard is unparalleled, not only in its fruit sources but in the way it’s put together and how it sits in the glass and on the palate. With fruit, acid, and tannins are woven together seamlessly, this is the most complete example of The Bard Realm has ever made. With so many different dimensions coming together in harmony, there is more than meets the eye with this wine along with something for everyone. Quite simply, this is the best The Bard Realm has produced.

Making wine at the very highest level is at the core of Realm Cellars. Since 2012, the wines have been awarded more 100-point scores from internationally recognized wine critics than any other producer. The wines are equal parts an expression of the land and an articulation of the winemaking craft. The “style” of Realm can best be described as a creative tension between richness and precision, density and finesse, purity of fruit, and nuance. In other words: A giant who is light on his feet. Always looking ahead, this dynamic team is continuing its quest to earn an enduring place among the icons of the wine world.

Realm is one of the most sought-after producers in the Napa Valley.With less than two decades of wine production behind this label, it is truly amazing how much demand that has been created for these wines. The Bard is, as Realm describes, the quintessential wine of the estate. Cabernet is sourced from top vineyard sights throughout the valley and blended with small quantities of other Bordeaux varieties, and for the first time in 2018, just a splash of Petite Sirah. The result is a dense, almost hedonistic, wine with a seemingly endless finish. 

"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. This is a lot to live up to, Realm certainly doesn't fall short of the mark with this flagship wine. 

Realm enjoys the perks of a winery of a certain status, their wines sit on lists of three Michelin starred restaurants. They sell the vast majority of their wine to their mailing list and can do so within hours of release. When you taste the wines, it is no wonder, they can produce a wine that will seemingly age for a century, all the while tasting beautiful every single day along the way.

Sourced from the Following Vineyards:

Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Realm SLD Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Houyi Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Blair Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Farella Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Levensohn Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Beckstoffer Bourn Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Upper Range Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Upper Range Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Realm SLD Estate Vineyard Merlot
Larkmead Vineyard Petit Verdot
Beckstoffer Bourn Vineyard Petite Sirah

Tasting Notes: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Petite Sirah, blue and black fruit jumps out of the glass; the black fruit may be more dominant/hedonistic yet the wine shows brightness and finesse. This is a sexy, creamy, juicy The Bard, with spiciness and a savory umami quality that leaves you wanting more. The wine hits on all cylinders; it’s perfumed, layered, and complex, ending with a note of licorice.


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 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 Antonio Galloni

The 2018 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 Jeb Dunnuck

Intense and perfumed aromas of cassis, mulberry, lavender, nutmeg, and cloves. Praline, walnuts, and dark chocolate, too. It’s full-bodied, creamy, and polished with a precise finish. Firm yet smoothly coating tannins. Very fine. Cabernet sauvignon 85% with merlot, petite verdot, cabernet and petite sirah. Drinkable now, but better from 2023. ~97 James Suckling

A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, and 2% Petite Sirah, the 2018 The Bard comes from 12 different vineyard sources and is composed of 40 separate lots. Deep garnet-purple colored, it soars from the glass with notions of crème de cassis, blueberry pie, and plum preserves, giving way to a wave of clove oil, chocolate box, exotic spices, and cracked black pepper. Full-bodied, rich and plush in the mouth, it has loads of spice-spiked black fruit layers, lifted by just enough freshness, going long and mineral-laced on the finish. ~96+ Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

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