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Realm Moonracer 2014

Bordeaux Red Blends from Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
  • JS98
  • RP96
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine is composed of the finest lots from the vineyard. Winemaker Benoit Touquette has a lot to choose from, as the site, with its multiple blocks, elevations, facings and diverse soils, has character in spades. Moonracer bears the unmistakable mark of this stimulating vineyard, as well as the Stags Leap District. Strong, powerful, yet elegant, with refined tannins and plenty of depth. What Benoit calls "intellectual." "It’s a wine that will appeal to both international and American palates. It walks the line, combining characteristics typical of northern and southern Napa Valley. It’s got plenty of fruit but also layered flavors, depth and complexity."

Critical Acclaim

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JS 98
James Suckling
Deep and dark with dark chocolate, blueberries, currants and black licorice. Wet earth, too. Full-bodied and extremely velvety. Generosity balanced out by suggestions of austerity. Polished and beautiful. Superb. Stag's Leap soul. Give it three to four years to come together. Super. Try in 2021.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Realm's estate wine comes from their new home vineyard, where all the renovation is taking place, at the 22-acre Stags Leap estate. Only 400 cases were made in 2014 of the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon The Estate-Moonracer, a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot from four separate Cabernet clones. While the wine remains the same, each “bottle” is completely different, which is rather amazing. This wine shows plenty of floral notes, white chocolate, red and blackcurrants, cedar wood and loamy soil undertones. It is a beauty – elegant, yet intense and authoritative. Drink it over the next 20+ years.
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Realm
Realm, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
Realm Cellars was founded in 2002 with a simple mission - to produce superior quality Bordeaux varietals in limited quantities from the fiest fruit sources in Napa Valley. Together with winemaker Benoit Touquette and consulting enologist, Michel Rolland, the winemaking philosophy at Realm Cellars has remained consistent with the goal of producing singular wines that represent intense and delicious portraits of the vineyard sources from which they are derived.

Stags Leap District

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Legend has it that quick and nimble stags would escape the indigenous hunters of southern Napa Valley through the landmark palisades that sit just northeast of the current city of Napa. As a result, the area was given the name, Stags Leap. While its grape-growing history dates back to the mid-1800s, winemaking didn’t really take off until the mid-1970s after a small but pivotal blind tasting called the Judgement of Paris.

When a 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon won first place against its high-profile Bordeaux contenders, like Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Haut-Brion, international attention to the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley escalated rapidly.

The vineyards in this one-of-a-kind wine growing region receive hot afternoon air reflecting off of its eastern palisade formation. In combination with the cool evening breezes from the San Pablo Bay just south, this becomes an optimal environment for grape growing. While many varieties could thrive here, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot dominate with virtually no others, save for a spot or two of Syrah.

Stags Leap soils—eroded volcanic and old river sediments—encourage well established root systems and result in complex, terroir-driven wines. Stags Leap District reds have a distinct sour cherry and black berry character with baking spice and dried earth aromas, and supple tannins.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

JFK192414_2014 Item# 192414