The editors of Robb Report shared a selection of holiday gift recommendations for oenophiles, including Realm Cellars The Bard 2018, Château La Fleur-Pétrus 2016 and Ornellaia 2018.
The writer shares details on the team behind Realm Cellars, before delving into the wine itself, noting that The Bard is a terrific intro to the acclaimed, yet elusive portfolio. “A complicated blend from vineyard sites up and down Napa Valley, from Calistoga to Coombsville, the Cabernet-dominant red (with splashes of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Petite Sirah, for good measure) is a showcase of the stellar 2018 vintage as opposed to a snapshot of a single site, as other Realm bottles are. And it’s a balanced, complex, seamless beauty. Expressive, high-toned aromas mix cassis and violets with earth and crushed rock. Vibrant, juicy boysenberry and plum flavors are layered with hints of dark chocolate and spice on a palate that’s full-bodied but far from heavy. Freshness balances plushness, and acidity melds with structure.”
A perfect blend of elegance and power, the Château La Fleur-Pétrus 2016 “offers character worthy of the address. Gravelly notes lurk under intriguing layers of delicate violets, black currant, anise, mint and pipe tobacco on the nose. Beautifully intense red and black fruit follows, from red currant to black cherry, on a tannin structure that’s both sinewy and silky.”
Ornellaia is described as a “classic Bordeaux mix that has the vivid freshness lately seen in the best years from Bolgheri, near Tuscany’s coast. The estate handpicked and sorted the grapes, with each varietal and vineyard block vinified separately, aging in oak for about 12 months. Only then was the balance between each varietal conceived and married, and once again returned to barriques for another six months before aging for a further year once bottled, producing silky-smooth tannins and a long finish. The wine tastes more of red fruit than black, but it’s still rich, dense and savory with herbal notes and a whiff of wild fennel.”
Read more in-depth notes on each wine and the rest of Robb’s selections HERE