The 2003 Revana Cabernet Sauvignon is exactly what should come to mind when one thinks of a Napa Valley Cabernet. It is big and bold, loaded with fruit and silky smooth tannins, and has a finish that goes on longer than the ending of an 80’s prog rock anthem.
We drank this outside at twilight and the garnet color sparkled in the fading sunlight. The deep, rich color entices as it swirls around the glass, hinting at the aromas and flavors to come.
The first thing that hits the nose is a powerful vanilla aroma followed by strong cherry and cassis, all carried on the typically strong alcohol. This is one of those wines that entice you to pause and keep your nose in the glass a few extra times before actually tasting.
The aromas and the flavors are perfectly matched, creating a symmetry that dazzles the palate in wonderful ways. The vanilla promised by the nose is well represented in the initial taste, as are the ripe black cherries and luscious dark berries. Subtle notes of ripe, sweet plums, figs, and a slight hint of cola join the party as the taste liquid spreads around the mouth.
About mid taste a surprisingly pleasant earthiness begins to make itself known. Very subtle hints of mushroom are mixed with white and black pepper notes, as well as some clove and ginger right before the finish.
Then there is the finish itself. All of the flavors seem to ever so slowly to fade only to be replaced in the reverse order of how they appeared. The impossibly long finish eventually ends where it began, with the vanilla flavor, accompanied by a bit of smoke, from the toasted French oak.
This wine has everything required to become even better when aged. It is quite remarkable. If it is to be drunk now, I would suggest it be decanted for at least 2 hours prior to being served.
It matched very well with the strip steaks, garlic/horseradish infused mashed potatoes, and swiss chard that I served it with, but I wish I had saved for the lamb we are having today. Those spectacular tannins begged for a fattier cut of meat.