2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

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Tom Chen
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#101 Post by Tom Chen » September 9th, 2020, 10:51 am

Went back and forth about picking up more The Bard and was finally able to justify two more bottles and one mag by telling myself that I would reduce purchases from some other lists. We'll see how that ends up going, but for now, it makes sense to me, as I love The Bard and this seems to be one of the best vintages, if not the best vintage, of The Bard.
Very glad Realm has a window to buy allocation, rather than first come-first served.

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#102 Post by JohnP » September 9th, 2020, 11:58 am

Tom Chen wrote:
September 9th, 2020, 10:51 am
Went back and forth about picking up more The Bard and was finally able to justify two more bottles and one mag by telling myself that I would reduce purchases from some other lists. We'll see how that ends up going, but for now, it makes sense to me, as I love The Bard and this seems to be one of the best vintages, if not the best vintage, of The Bard.
Very glad Realm has a window to buy allocation, rather than first come-first served.
I too went back for the magnum, lol. Thanks to AG for tossing out that timely review.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#103 Post by Jeff L » September 9th, 2020, 12:04 pm

In for 5 bard (+1 WL) and 1 moonracer. Taking a chance on moonracer but found their discussion last night compelling. Happy to be on the journey and very much appreciate the guaranteed allocation window.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#104 Post by Nicholas C » September 9th, 2020, 12:59 pm

How long after close of window do you typically find out about wishlists?
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#105 Post by scott.becker » September 9th, 2020, 5:07 pm

Nicholas, I'm not sure of Lisa's timetable but I would guess that it's late September or early October.

John, I'm certainly glad for a fruit day but I think all of us in Napa would settle for a simple day of sunshine right about now!
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#106 Post by William Anzalone » September 9th, 2020, 5:10 pm

Was last nights ZOOM tasting with Karen recorded and if so where can it be found to watch? I signed up to join but I was unexpectedly unable to attend last night.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#107 Post by scott.becker » September 9th, 2020, 5:23 pm

Glad to hear the comments about adding bottles to orders or adding wish requests. Thanks Tom for the comments about a release window - we've extended the open period to two full weeks now. In the past it used to be one week and we found that was too brief given travel, work commitments, etc. We will close the release at 11:59PM PT on September 15 and will start working on wish granting the next day with whatever wine is remaining. It takes a few days to confirm all the numbers so we should be able to update everyone with status by Thursday or Friday, Sep 17 or 18. As I mentioned previously, it's very unlikely there will be much Falstaff or Absurd to go around. Sorry to deliver that news but I also want to manage expectations.

I think there's a link to the tasting with Karen MacNeil so I will track it down and share with you.

Thanks again for the comments and feedback. All of it is very helpful because I can incorporate your perspectives into our new website and e-commerce platform. The new platform will have more transparency about allocations, wish granting, how it works, etc. More to come...
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#108 Post by Jen M a s o n » September 9th, 2020, 5:33 pm

Thanks Scott, would really appreciate the link as I was also planning to attend but had a last minute comflict. Also keeping fingers crossed for a Falstaff wishlist and some extra Bard. Thanks for setting expectations, but one can hope!

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#109 Post by KenL. » September 10th, 2020, 10:01 am

A link to the tasting is available at the top of Karen MacNeil’s public FB page if anyone is interested.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#110 Post by MICHAEL C R O M W E L L » September 10th, 2020, 1:01 pm

Just watched the tasting on the FB page. Very informative and great perspectives!
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#111 Post by Tom Chen » September 10th, 2020, 1:22 pm

Thanks Ken for the link info.
Just watched it as well. Good insights and perspectives.
Quick personal thought on The Bard:
It is my favorite Napa Cab when factoring in quality, my tastes, and price. I also like Becklyn and Maybach (and buy both regularly), but The Bard sits nicely between the two in terms of price and if forced to choose between only buying one between Becklyn Napa, Maybach Materium. and Realm The Bard, I would choose The Bard. Glad I don't have to choose though, although I did drop from Shafer HSS last year, so Materium is now my highest price, larger purchase, Napa Cab now. I still buy Dr. Crane, but not in the amounts of Materium.
Always a journey to figure out what/how many to buy and what to drop/buy less of.

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#112 Post by Albert R » September 10th, 2020, 5:09 pm

Tom Chen wrote:
September 10th, 2020, 1:22 pm
Thanks Ken for the link info.
Just watched it as well. Good insights and perspectives.
Quick personal thought on The Bard:
It is my favorite Napa Cab when factoring in quality, my tastes, and price. I also like Becklyn and Maybach (and buy both regularly), but The Bard sits nicely between the two in terms of price and if forced to choose between only buying one between Becklyn Napa, Maybach Materium. and Realm The Bard, I would choose The Bard. Glad I don't have to choose though, although I did drop from Shafer HSS last year, so Materium is now my highest price, larger purchase, Napa Cab now. I still buy Dr. Crane, but not in the amounts of Materium.
Always a journey to figure out what/how many to buy and what to drop/buy less of.
Tom,
I am a Becklyn Napa fan. How would you compare it to the Bard? Thanks.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#113 Post by Tom Chen » September 10th, 2020, 5:26 pm

Albert R wrote:
September 10th, 2020, 5:09 pm
Tom Chen wrote:
September 10th, 2020, 1:22 pm
Thanks Ken for the link info.
Just watched it as well. Good insights and perspectives.
Quick personal thought on The Bard:
It is my favorite Napa Cab when factoring in quality, my tastes, and price. I also like Becklyn and Maybach (and buy both regularly), but The Bard sits nicely between the two in terms of price and if forced to choose between only buying one between Becklyn Napa, Maybach Materium. and Realm The Bard, I would choose The Bard. Glad I don't have to choose though, although I did drop from Shafer HSS last year, so Materium is now my highest price, larger purchase, Napa Cab now. I still buy Dr. Crane, but not in the amounts of Materium.
Always a journey to figure out what/how many to buy and what to drop/buy less of.
Tom,
I am a Becklyn Napa fan. How would you compare it to the Bard? Thanks.
Albert,
I have never done a side by side and am not very good at tasting notes (taking or saving), but my general impressions (as I remember) are as follows:
The Bard is a bit more complex and not as fruit forward as the Becklyn Napa. Maybe a bit less oak as well and not as "hot." All those terms are relative though, as I love Becklyn Napa as well (and their other wines). I have not had either one with a ton of age on them (especially since they are both relatively new), but I think generally the Realms I've had have developed very nicely (interesting flavors, tannins softened).
Probably not much help.
Both are great wines for Napa cabs though, for my tastes.
Tom

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#114 Post by Bill V » September 11th, 2020, 12:31 pm

I watched the zoom today also. Enjoyed it, very interesting and a great job.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#115 Post by Siggyb » September 11th, 2020, 1:26 pm

Enjoyed watching the Zoom Tasting and finally figured out what to purchase and pulled the trigger.
2 Tempest
4 Bard +2 WL
1 WL Falstaff
1 Moonracer
Already looking forward to the Spring release as I know I will want whatever I can get my hands on. Since Kata is being rolled out in spring release also curious what they are doing about Ghost Dog as I really enjoy that wine as well. Anyone know?
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#116 Post by Philip G » September 11th, 2020, 2:33 pm

Siggyb wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 1:26 pm
Enjoyed watching the Zoom Tasting and finally figured out what to purchase and pulled the trigger.
2 Tempest
4 Bard +2 WL
1 WL Falstaff
1 Moonracer
Already looking forward to the Spring release as I know I will want whatever I can get my hands on. Since Kata is being rolled out in spring release also curious what they are doing about Ghost Dog as I really enjoy that wine as well. Anyone know?
Will have to watch the Zoom, sounds good. Both the Bard and Tempest are right in mine and my wife's wheelhouse as far as being big, complex, approachable and "reasonably" priced. I've been picking up back vintages of both over the last few years.

Finally got my order in:
Bard: 5 + 12WL (I know, but I LIKE this stuff!)
Bard 1.5L: 1 + 1 WL (see ^)
Tempest: 2 + 4 WL
Falstaff: 1 WL
Moonracer: 1
Chip G@@d

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#117 Post by Rob Weaver » September 11th, 2020, 2:56 pm

Bard 15 + 9 wishlist

Feels like a lot, but I bought a similar amount of the 2016 and not a bottle left.

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#118 Post by MICHAEL C R O M W E L L » September 11th, 2020, 3:13 pm

Rob Weaver wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 2:56 pm
Bard 15 + 9 wishlist

Feels like a lot, but I bought a similar amount of the 2016 and not a bottle left.
And I thought I lacked willpower! Love it!
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#119 Post by Joe B » September 11th, 2020, 3:16 pm

Rob Weaver wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 2:56 pm
Bard 15 + 9 wishlist

Feels like a lot, but I bought a similar amount of the 2016 and not a bottle left.
Yeah, its really not. I bought 15 last year and I am down to 8.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#120 Post by NickRut » September 11th, 2020, 3:24 pm

Rob Weaver wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 2:56 pm
Bard 15 + 9 wishlist

Feels like a lot, but I bought a similar amount of the 2016 and not a bottle left.

I thought the 12 I grabbed was solid. Well done. Bard is perennially as good as anything in the price range.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#121 Post by Siggyb » September 11th, 2020, 3:37 pm

Philip G wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 2:33 pm
Siggyb wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 1:26 pm
Enjoyed watching the Zoom Tasting and finally figured out what to purchase and pulled the trigger.
2 Tempest
4 Bard +2 WL
1 WL Falstaff
1 Moonracer
Already looking forward to the Spring release as I know I will want whatever I can get my hands on. Since Kata is being rolled out in spring release also curious what they are doing about Ghost Dog as I really enjoy that wine as well. Anyone know?
Will have to watch the Zoom, sounds good. Both the Bard and Tempest are right in mine and my wife's wheelhouse as far as being big, complex, approachable and "reasonably" priced. I've been picking up back vintages of both over the last few years.

Finally got my order in:
Bard: 5 + 12WL (I know, but I LIKE this stuff!)
Bard 1.5L: 1 + 1 WL (see ^)
Tempest: 2 + 4 WL
Falstaff: 1 WL
Moonracer: 1
Now I am questioning not taking advantage of the WL on the Bard. When asking for that much do the WL generally get granted?
Signe' B e c k [cheers.gif]

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#122 Post by Philip G » September 11th, 2020, 3:52 pm

Siggyb wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 3:37 pm
Philip G wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 2:33 pm
Siggyb wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 1:26 pm
Enjoyed watching the Zoom Tasting and finally figured out what to purchase and pulled the trigger.
2 Tempest
4 Bard +2 WL
1 WL Falstaff
1 Moonracer
Already looking forward to the Spring release as I know I will want whatever I can get my hands on. Since Kata is being rolled out in spring release also curious what they are doing about Ghost Dog as I really enjoy that wine as well. Anyone know?
Will have to watch the Zoom, sounds good. Both the Bard and Tempest are right in mine and my wife's wheelhouse as far as being big, complex, approachable and "reasonably" priced. I've been picking up back vintages of both over the last few years.

Finally got my order in:
Bard: 5 + 12WL (I know, but I LIKE this stuff!)
Bard 1.5L: 1 + 1 WL (see ^)
Tempest: 2 + 4 WL
Falstaff: 1 WL
Moonracer: 1
Now I am questioning not taking advantage of the WL on the Bard. When asking for that much do the WL generally get granted?
I doubt it but figured I would ask for a bunch. We will see in a few days!
Chip G@@d

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#123 Post by C Simmons » September 14th, 2020, 9:24 am

2016 Falstaff tasting note on Cellar Tracker just posted for anyone debating about grabbing what 2018 Falstaff you've been allocated. Not that I needed motivation to buy, but it didn't hurt that the 2016 is likely a great primer for what the 2018 might achieve. Good stuff.

https://www.cellartracker.com/note.asp? ... 880023f2db
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#124 Post by Nicholas C » September 14th, 2020, 10:34 am

C Simmons wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 9:24 am
2016 Falstaff tasting note on Cellar Tracker just posted for anyone debating about grabbing what 2018 Falstaff you've been allocated. Not that I needed motivation to buy, but it didn't hurt that the 2016 is likely a great primer for what the 2018 might achieve. Good stuff.

https://www.cellartracker.com/note.asp? ... 880023f2db
Thanks. Will see how lucky I am in the wishlist lottery for Falstaff.
Finally placed my order over the weekend.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#125 Post by HoosJustinG » September 14th, 2020, 12:21 pm

I might go back and wishlist more Falstaff now lol ... I got the 1 bottle I was allocated, but this thread is making me thirsty.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#126 Post by Nicholas C » September 14th, 2020, 3:31 pm

Wine Advocate reviews out in their end of September issue. According to LPBs Instagram post. Detailed separate article just on Realm.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#127 Post by Tom Chen » September 14th, 2020, 4:42 pm

Nicholas C wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 3:31 pm
Wine Advocate reviews out in their end of September issue. According to LPBs Instagram post. Detailed separate article just on Realm.
Glad to see the WA is doing this and especially excited to read the Realm article.

Not sure what the waiting list for Realm is, but now may be the time to get on the list.

I am assuming the article will be very positive, with lots of great scores, so very happy for Realm and the whole team.

Great wine and very nice people.

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#128 Post by Brent S » September 14th, 2020, 6:34 pm

I have serious doubts that many Falstaf requests will be granted. Despite Covid, people are taking their allocations. Probably easier to get Absurd this year, but this is just a guess based purely on the activity of this thread.
Last edited by Brent S on September 14th, 2020, 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#129 Post by NickRut » September 14th, 2020, 6:55 pm

C Simmons wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 9:24 am
2016 Falstaff tasting note on Cellar Tracker just posted for anyone debating about grabbing what 2018 Falstaff you've been allocated. Not that I needed motivation to buy, but it didn't hurt that the 2016 is likely a great primer for what the 2018 might achieve. Good stuff.

https://www.cellartracker.com/note.asp? ... 880023f2db

Always appreciated sir. Grateful for any Falstaff I can get my hands on. We’ll see how many wishlists are granted
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#130 Post by David Crow » September 14th, 2020, 7:09 pm

Does anyone know how many cases of Falstaff (and the other wines) they made in 2018?

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#131 Post by J. Rock » September 14th, 2020, 8:59 pm

David Crow wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 7:09 pm
Does anyone know how many cases of Falstaff (and the other wines) they made in 2018?
Production is up overall but it sounds like there's not a ton of much Falstaff. I have no idea about exact numbers.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#132 Post by scott.becker » September 14th, 2020, 9:16 pm

Entering into the last 24 hours of our fall release. Thanks to all those who've supported us - it really means a lot. I always love this time of year because we are forced to think in spans of multiple vintages. Releasing the first of the 2018's, working on blends for the 2019's, and harvesting the 2020's. It's especially meaningful this year given a challenging 2020 harvest.

Very glad to see the interest and demand here for Falstaff. I think we will see and taste more Cab Franc from top sites in the years ahead. Personally I'm very excited about the future of Cab Franc in Napa Valley. We stopped releasing production volumes on our wines a few years ago because of the natural but perhaps mistaken view that smaller volume somehow translates to better quality. I'm sure this board could convince me to publish those numbers again in the future but let's first have the dialogue about how and why volume may or may not translate to quality. That's for another day. David, generally speaking, Falstaff has always ranged from 200-400 cases.

It's hard to say at this point what wish requests we will be able to grant - depends on how many bottles of each wine are remaining after tomorrow. I will say that we genuinely want to grant as many requests as possible. The wish request is how you indicate you want more. Even if we cannot grant it this time, we try to take that into consideration with allocations the following year. And speaking of allocations, I have a mistake to acknowledge and own. We could have done a better job explaining why allocations of a wine like The Absurd were lower this year. We've heard from a lot of folks that were disappointed in their Absurd allocations - either that it was only one bottle or that it was zero. Going forward, we will do a better job communicating when Mother Nature gives us more or less of a particular wine. We certainly are not trying to disappoint folks so my apologies for not getting in front of that issue in a more transparent way. Fortunately, the 2018 and 2019 vintages are generally high in both quality and quantity.

Thanks again to all of you for the interest, the dialogue, and the support. Thanks for welcoming me into this community. I don't expect you to go easy on me (nor would I want you to!) just because I'm a producer. I'm a collector too and I consider myself on a lifelong journey of learning. In so many ways we are on this journey together, and I'm always humbled and honored to share our life's work with all of you during each of our releases. I'm hoping for a strong finish tomorrow...and then we will get to work on wish granting! You should hear from us before the end of the week.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#133 Post by NED VALOIS » September 14th, 2020, 10:02 pm

Order in.

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#134 Post by David Crow » September 15th, 2020, 5:40 am

Scott, thanks for the info on production numbers. Your point about not wanting smaller production wines to seem higher quality makes sense, although in general I always find it interesting to see figures like that.

I also had a somewhat related in terms of transparency around production. Why don’t you provide any information on the vineyard sources or blend for The Absurd? I know you make the point in he release nites that you just want it to be the best wine possible regardless of source or blend, but I personally find one of the more interesting things about a wine to be understanding where it comes from, even in the case of a blend that may come from multiple vineyards. This is especially true in the case of a very expensive wine like the Absurd. Any info you can share with this board on the makeup of that would be very interesting?
Last edited by David Crow on September 15th, 2020, 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#135 Post by Albert R » September 15th, 2020, 6:35 am

Order in! Thank you for the guaranteed allocation.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#136 Post by scott.becker » September 15th, 2020, 11:31 am

Good question David! We publish vineyard sources, blend composition, etc for all wines except The Absurd. The difference with Absurd goes back to the spirit of that wine. In the spring of 2013, we were working on blending the 2012 vintage. Realm's future was far from certain at that point...we were hanging on by a shoestring. Yet all of us thought we had something special in barrel with the 12 vintage. Michel Rolland had agreed to work with us because of his deep relationship with Benoit even though he knew we couldn't afford him. Michel thought we were crazy - risking everything when Juan, Benoit or I could have instead been working elsewhere. But I think Michel saw the passion and entrepreneurial spirit in us, maybe he thought it would be interesting or fun to see what happens. We finished the blending session and were just about to wrap up when the idea emerged that maybe we could do something even better. Rather than blend based on a vineyard or varietal, what if we blended purely on palate impression, texture, how components fit together, etc. No rules. Blending is more art than science which is different from winemaking. It could be one barrel of Petit Verdot that stands out, or it could be dozens of small components (fractions of barrels) that come together in unison. It wasn't about where the wine came from, it was about how it came together on the palate. That's how 2012 The Absurd was born and we've stuck to that ever since. This will sound like I'm dodging the question but I'm not trying to - we truly try to forget what goes into that wine each year. Some years it has dozens of components, some years it's only one or two. When it comes to Moonracer or Farella or Beckstoffer Dr. Crane, we work very hard to respect the natural signature of the site, and I expect us to get better at this in the years ahead. But Absurd is something else entirely. The tension or paradox between these two very different approaches is one of the building blocks of Realm.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#137 Post by Fernando FJR » September 15th, 2020, 11:34 am

[help.gif] I don’t know if I should add 2 more Bard or
1 falstaff or 1 Moonracer. I usually only buy the bard

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#138 Post by FMansfield » September 15th, 2020, 12:08 pm

Andre M wrote:
August 18th, 2020, 8:15 pm
Just received the postcard for Sept 1st release:
2018 the tempest
2018 the bard
2018 falstaff
2018 moonracer
2017 the absurd

Definitely will take the bard and tempest, not sure about the others.
I did the same as you. Looking forward to the next release!
F r e d e r i c k

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#139 Post by FMansfield » September 15th, 2020, 12:12 pm

scott.becker wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 11:31 am
Good question David! We publish vineyard sources, blend composition, etc for all wines except The Absurd. The difference with Absurd goes back to the spirit of that wine. In the spring of 2013, we were working on blending the 2012 vintage. Realm's future was far from certain at that point...we were hanging on by a shoestring. Yet all of us thought we had something special in barrel with the 12 vintage. Michel Rolland had agreed to work with us because of his deep relationship with Benoit even though he knew we couldn't afford him. Michel thought we were crazy - risking everything when Juan, Benoit or I could have instead been working elsewhere. But I think Michel saw the passion and entrepreneurial spirit in us, maybe he thought it would be interesting or fun to see what happens. We finished the blending session and were just about to wrap up when the idea emerged that maybe we could do something even better. Rather than blend based on a vineyard or varietal, what if we blended purely on palate impression, texture, how components fit together, etc. No rules. Blending is more art than science which is different from winemaking. It could be one barrel of Petit Verdot that stands out, or it could be dozens of small components (fractions of barrels) that come together in unison. It wasn't about where the wine came from, it was about how it came together on the palate. That's how 2012 The Absurd was born and we've stuck to that ever since. This will sound like I'm dodging the question but I'm not trying to - we truly try to forget what goes into that wine each year. Some years it has dozens of components, some years it's only one or two. When it comes to Moonracer or Farella or Beckstoffer Dr. Crane, we work very hard to respect the natural signature of the site, and I expect us to get better at this in the years ahead. But Absurd is something else entirely. The tension or paradox between these two very different approaches is one of the building blocks of Realm.
Thank you Scott. Not dodging the question at all. Great explanation, however, I am curious if the barrels that go into the Absurd are of “higher quality” or are “select” barrels compared to others. Most reserve wines include barrels that are better than others (amazing vs great with respect to your wines). Thank you.
F r e d e r i c k

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#140 Post by scott.becker » September 15th, 2020, 2:16 pm

Fernando FJR wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 11:34 am
[help.gif] I don’t know if I should add 2 more Bard or
1 falstaff or 1 Moonracer. I usually only buy the bard
Tricky question and I'm probably the last person who should be offering perspective on what to buy. Seems like a question of whether you want multiple bottles of a particular wine to see how it ages and evolves over time....vs adding a different wine that might provide a different experience. Because of the Cab Franc, I find Falstaff to be more blue-fruited, a touch more linear, sometimes floral or herbal notes. By comparison, Moonracer is a denser wine - more fruit but also more earthy characters too. Although we continue to work toward greater and greater separation between the wines, it's not like they are polar opposites either. The house style of richness yet also freshness comes through in all three wines.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#141 Post by scott.becker » September 15th, 2020, 2:31 pm

Frederick, the barrel regimen does vary some depending on the vineyard, varietal, and intended wine use. Merlot that might go into Tempest generally see less new oak, for example, than Cabernet from Beckstoffer To Kalon. That has less to do with price and more to do with what we think that fruit/wine needs and benefits from. We are experimenting with some thicker stave barrels for certain lots. We are also increasing the percentage of concrete egg ageing for at least a period of the elevage. It's a constant evolution, always tasting and refining. The length of ageing is also starting to vary slightly from wine to wine and vintage to vintage based on our perception of what's best. There isn't a specific barrel program just for Absurd because the components that make up the blend can vary so much from year to year. We are, however, experimenting with other ageing vessels to evaluate impact on freshness and tannins and these lots may end up in Absurd in future bottlings.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#142 Post by Philip G » September 15th, 2020, 2:34 pm

scott.becker wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 11:31 am
Good question David! We publish vineyard sources, blend composition, etc for all wines except The Absurd. The difference with Absurd goes back to the spirit of that wine. In the spring of 2013, we were working on blending the 2012 vintage. Realm's future was far from certain at that point...we were hanging on by a shoestring. Yet all of us thought we had something special in barrel with the 12 vintage. Michel Rolland had agreed to work with us because of his deep relationship with Benoit even though he knew we couldn't afford him. Michel thought we were crazy - risking everything when Juan, Benoit or I could have instead been working elsewhere. But I think Michel saw the passion and entrepreneurial spirit in us, maybe he thought it would be interesting or fun to see what happens. We finished the blending session and were just about to wrap up when the idea emerged that maybe we could do something even better. Rather than blend based on a vineyard or varietal, what if we blended purely on palate impression, texture, how components fit together, etc. No rules. Blending is more art than science which is different from winemaking. It could be one barrel of Petit Verdot that stands out, or it could be dozens of small components (fractions of barrels) that come together in unison. It wasn't about where the wine came from, it was about how it came together on the palate. That's how 2012 The Absurd was born and we've stuck to that ever since. This will sound like I'm dodging the question but I'm not trying to - we truly try to forget what goes into that wine each year. Some years it has dozens of components, some years it's only one or two. When it comes to Moonracer or Farella or Beckstoffer Dr. Crane, we work very hard to respect the natural signature of the site, and I expect us to get better at this in the years ahead. But Absurd is something else entirely. The tension or paradox between these two very different approaches is one of the building blocks of Realm.
Scott - sounds like something an artist would say when asked what their art means. I've never had an Absurd, a bit out of my price range for wines I normally buy and wasn't allocated any this year, but maybe next year if I'm fortunate enough I might buy one!
Chip G@@d

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#143 Post by NickRut » September 15th, 2020, 3:12 pm

Wasn’t there another set of reviews that were supposed to come out? Saw vinous and Jeb
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#144 Post by J. Rock » September 15th, 2020, 3:15 pm

NickRut wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 3:12 pm
Wasn’t there another set of reviews that were supposed to come out? Saw vinous and Jeb
Wine Advocate will come out with reviews (and an article I think) at the end of this month.
J o r d a n

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#145 Post by David Crow » September 15th, 2020, 6:02 pm

scott.becker wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 2:31 pm
Frederick, the barrel regimen does vary some depending on the vineyard, varietal, and intended wine use. Merlot that might go into Tempest generally see less new oak, for example, than Cabernet from Beckstoffer To Kalon. That has less to do with price and more to do with what we think that fruit/wine needs and benefits from. We are experimenting with some thicker stave barrels for certain lots. We are also increasing the percentage of concrete egg ageing for at least a period of the elevage. It's a constant evolution, always tasting and refining. The length of ageing is also starting to vary slightly from wine to wine and vintage to vintage based on our perception of what's best. There isn't a specific barrel program just for Absurd because the components that make up the blend can vary so much from year to year. We are, however, experimenting with other ageing vessels to evaluate impact on freshness and tannins and these lots may end up in Absurd in future bottlings.
Scott, I have to start off by saying thanks so much for you active participation here and for the transparency you are providing. I’ve been purchasing Realm for a while now and the personal touch you all display is a big reason I keep on buying (plus, of course, the wine rocks!).

I did have a more business oriented question that your response above raised. You probably aren’t at liberty to fully answer, but I thought I’d try asking anyway as it’s something I’ve always wondered about.

I know you use some fruit from your vineyard designate sites in your blends. For instance, the notes this year mentioned To Kalon, Houyi, and Farrella as all components of the Bard. Given the high cost of fruit from those sources and the big price difference between the Bard and the vineyard designates how do you manage to keep your margins in line on a wine like the Bard?

Are you able to pay less for certain blocks from those vineyard designate sites knowing those particular blocks will be destined for a blend rather than a vineyard designate bottling? Or is the fruit fruit cost consistent across the vineyard and you’re just paying a weighted average based on what wine you are likely to put it in?

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#146 Post by Jason Petty » September 15th, 2020, 8:35 pm

$40 to pick up locally, WTF? I had the option to ship ground for $58 to go 35 miles to my house, or I can pickup at M7 Wine Solutions in Napa for $40. Over the past 10 years of picking up hundreds of allocations locally at either wineries or third party logistic companies I have never paid more than $15, half the time being $0. Wonder if this higher pickup cost will be a trend going forward.

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#147 Post by Frank Z » September 15th, 2020, 9:15 pm

Jason Petty wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 8:35 pm
$40 to pick up locally, WTF? I had the option to ship ground for $58 to go 35 miles to my house, or I can pickup at M7 Wine Solutions in Napa for $40. Over the past 10 years of picking up hundreds of allocations locally at either wineries or third party logistic companies I have never paid more than $15, half the time being $0. Wonder if this higher pickup cost will be a trend going forward.
I had brought this up with Scott a few days ago, and it turns out they were subsidizing a lot of the costs relating to pickup and shipping for the past years (when pickup used to be $10 at M7). Now, the packaging and labor costs are factored in as well, but they are working to provide more options in the coming years.
Frank Zhang

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#148 Post by scott.becker » September 15th, 2020, 9:28 pm

David, good questions about blends, cost of fruit, etc. I'll respond tomorrow.

Jason, yes I'm afraid so. Trying to get away from the pickup option (for the time being) because of the expense and the experience. We just aren't set up to do it well right now. We haven't been able to do it at the winery in past years because of construction. Open to your thoughts and ideas on how we might adapt this program going forward. Send me a PM or an email anytime.
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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#149 Post by KyleC » September 15th, 2020, 9:30 pm

Debating topping off my order by picking up 2 more bottles of Bard. On the site it's showing as a net new order including paying for shipping again. Does anyone know if Realm will consolidate multiple orders into one or will it exist as two orders with two separate shipping fees?

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Re: 2018 Realm save the date (Sept 1st)

#150 Post by scott.becker » September 15th, 2020, 9:43 pm

Kyle, we are reaching out to people with multiple orders to consolidate shipping. Working on a way to make this more seamless in the future.
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