Friday night, end of week wind-down, we pulled this bottle from the cellar and took it BYOB to
Marinella Italian Restaurant in nearby Glen Ellyn (Illinois) for a change of pace. This was our first encounter at this neighborhood trattoria, another family owned and operated quaint friendly comfortable spot. It made us feel good about our local favorite regular eatery, Angeli's Italian. They have relatively comparable menus and prices, Marinella has a more extensive and imaginative winelist, was quieter and more intimate albeit a bit dated and quirky with the silk flowers on the tableside windowledge.
The Marinella winelist is totally Italian, featuring wines from the major wine regions - a nice selection, at a range of price points. They were accommodating to us with our BYOB special bottle we brought for the evening. Knowing of their wine selection, I would not be hesitant to dine there for a wine and dine experience, dependent on their wine list to complement the dinner.
Linda had the scallops and shrimp in a vodka cream tomato sauce with pasta which was very good and nicely prepared. I had the meat filled ravioli which was lackluster and uninspiring since I asked for some pasta with meat and cheese and ended up with a tomato sauce and no cheese - so much for ordering by style and content rather than from a defined dish.
We may return in the summer as Marinella have patio dining that might be nice al fresco in appropriate weather.
In any event, our BYOB wine was a highlight of the meal - a nice complement to the entrees, albeit more elegant and complex than the meal warranted - Revana Family Vineyard St Helena Cabernet Sauvignon.
This was our first encounter with Revana. Records show I picked up a single bottle from Binny's our local wine superstore. It overachieved for the occasion but then again is a far more pricey bottle that would've been best served with an elegant meal.
Revana was founded in 1997 by Dr. Madaiah Revana, a successful Houston cardiologist, when he discovered and eventually acquired the small parcel of prime vineyard land in St. Helena while visiting Napa Valley. Dr. Revana was a fan of super premium Bordeaux wines and set out to grow highest quality Bordeaux varietal fruit to produce his own interpretation of such wines.
The The Revana Estate Vineyard sits on St Helena Highway north of town approaching Calistoga, in the neighborhood of the CIA (Culinary Institute of America), Markham, Freemark Abbey, Vineyard 29 and Grace Family Vineyards.
The northern part of Napa Valley where it narrows is framed by the Mayacamas and Vaca mountains. The hillside erosion from the surrounding mountains provides the gravel and soil resulting in the deep, well-drained soils that make up the Revana Estate. This section of the upper valley benefits from more moderate temperatures, a combination of warm days and cool nights, without the foggy mornings found in the lower valley or the extreme heat of Calistoga to the north.
The site has deep, well-drained gravelly alluvial soils, sloped pitch adjacent Diamond Mountain, with excellent exposure, warm days and cool nights, for terroir ideally suited for Bordeaux varietals, notably Cabernet Sauvignon.
In 1998, Dr. Revana hired acclaimed vineyard manager Jim Barbour to plant and maintain the 9-acre estate vineyard. He engaged renowned winemaker Heidi Barrett to craft exceptional wines from the Revana Estate vineyard from its first vintage in 2001. Revana enjoyed great critical success including the honor of being ranked number 4 in the world in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2010.
In 2011, Thomas Brown joined Revana Family Vineyard as consulting winemaker charged to continue the tradition of making world-class Cabernet Sauvignon in the Revana style. Brown earned the craft at several small wineries then progressed his winemaking career at Turley Wine Cellars where he was the assistant winemaker through 2001.
Brown became best known for the Cabernet Sauvignons that he has crafted for Schrader Cellars, Thomas also received numerous accolades from the press notably in 2010, Food & Wine Magazine named him Winemaker of the Year. Both Wine Spectator and The Wine Advocate have bestowed multiple 100 point scores on Cabernets made by Thomas.
Revana has assembled all the elements to produce world class wines - a renowned accomplished winemaker, an inspirational vineyard with ideal terroir, and state of the art facilities. We'll look forward to visiting the Estate on an upcoming visit to Napa Valley.