Add together an exclusive piece of land in St. Helena, a super star vineyard manager, and two legendary winemakers, and what do you have? You have Revana Vineyards, makers of world class Cabernets.
In 1997, Dr. Madaiah Revana, on a trip to Napa, came across a patch of land up for sale in St. Helena. Already knowing that this was a region of creating some of the top wines in the world, he bought it and sought out to hire the best team to make the wines that would be considered first class. It didn’t take him very long to find the rockstar vineyard m anager Jim Barbour who’s portfolio already included such mega names as Grace Family, Hundred Acre, Checkerboard, etc. Shortly after, he assembled the next piece of the rockstar lineup by getting acclaimed Heidi Barrett (Screaming Eagle, La Sirena, Lamborn, etc.) as his winemaker. With Heidi Barrett leading the way, Revana went on to make world-class wines, even catching the Wine Spectator’s #4 spot in the top 100 wines of 2010. In the year of 2011, following the departure of Heidi Barrett, Dr. Revana brought on board another heavy hitter winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown (Schrader, Pulido Walker, Round Pound, Chiarello, etc.) to take the wines to the next level.
We were fortunate enough to get a tasting reservation, which in itself, was already a task and were prompted greeted by Lionel as we made our way through the gate. We sat down in the small but cozy tasting room and were immediately treated to the wines. It should be noted that we were here for a tasting and not a full tour.
Revana 2013 “Carneros” Chardonnay
While relatively a new project, and only two vintages up to date, it is said that this will be the last vintage. Nonetheless, it was a worthy experiment, the Chardonnay was beautiful, featuring notes of green apple, white flowers, bright citrus and crushed/clean minerality. We gave this a 90/100 points at $45/bottle
Revana 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
The last vintage of Heidi Barrett proved to be another classic with the vintage given. The nose is very much her style of lavender, cassis and wild earthy notes. The palate features notes of chocolate and dark fruits, cassis notes and coffee. A luscious cabernet, we gave this a 95+/100 points at $175/bottle.
Revana 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Stong deep and floral nose of dark fruits and violets, the palate is round and balanced with notes of cherries, underripe plums and spices that seam beautifully together into a soft finish with well integrated tannins. We gave this a 94/100 points at $150
As a bonus, Lionel Coravin-ed some of the bottled 2013 for us to try.
Revana 2013 Cabernet
The 2013 vintage is showing lots of promise, with notes of black fruits, cherries, cassis, herbs, dark chocolate and refined tannins, however the mouth feel was a bit tight, which was understandable for being a unreleased wine. There’s a lot to like here and it will age gracefully in years to come. We gave this a 93+/100 points at $125.
As Lionel mentioned, they do not let just anyone come in for a tasting, or secure an allocation for their wine, and with good reason too. With the super star team they have assembled, their wines are true works of art that you would expect from masters of their own craft.
Being able to taste such masterful wines was definitely an experience in it’s own, the wine itself, gave us its own mental tour of the craft that went into the wine, it was quite the experience.
While this experience might not be for the majority, for those who appreciate the craftsmanship of wine, and who appreciate the high name labels, this is something you don’t want to miss out on.
The Wine Guys Recommendation Level: Highly Recommended
2930 St Helena Hwy
St Helena, CA
(707) 967 – 8814
Tasting fee: $70/person