Authoritative Napa Cabernet From Thomas Rivers Brown
Thomas Rivers Brown’s current trophy case boasts more than 25 perfect 100-point wines — and he has stopped counting. Brown’s mid-2000s hot streak thrust him into the spotlight as one of Napa’s hottest commodities, and he took over at Revana — filling the shoes of Heidi Barrett of Screaming Eagle fame — fresh off his Food & Wine magazine 2010 Winemaker of the Year honor. The Revana Terroir Series, from Wine Spectator’s 2014 “dream” vintage, owes its richness to some of the greatest Cabernet vineyards of the Oak Knoll, St. Helena, and Calistoga appellations, and its 95-point Spectator score puts it in the company of the 2014 Paul Hobbs Cabernet, which commands $500 per bottle. World-class winemaker. Small production. Tight allocation. Any delaying and you’ll miss out.
Some Napa winemakers’ reputations are gilded until vineyard owners and proprietors practically beg them to come to their vineyards and enjoy carte-blanche with the best grapes in the world. In other words, it’s good to be Thomas RIvers Brown.
Revana Family Wines had the massive expectations of a Wine Spectator Top Five wine to meet when they discovered their perfect match in Brown, who considers his signature style the fact that he has no signature style: He simply nudges wines of exceptional terroir to greatness without leaving any fingerprints.
Whether Revana has the raw materials is inarguable. Their nine gravelly acres of 20-year-old vines in St. Helena were planted by viticultural stalwart Jim Barbour, and the vines are minimally irrigated to maintain vine stress. Brown’s touch, 14 months in 85% new oak, and a year in bottle make this gorgeous now, or ready for a long life in the cellar.