Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A Tour and Tasting Lunch at Réva



Réva, a luxury retreat tucked in between the hills of Monforte d’Alba, was a bit of a surprise to me. With golf, a spa, a pool, hot tub, gourmet restaurant, and woods for truffle hunting, it completely exceeded my expectations of more of the expected beautiful views and great wine.

Daniele Gaia, Réva Sales Manager, led my on the tour of the vineyard and joined me for lunch along with a wine tasting. He shared that the owner of the winery is Czech and that the name Réva translates to grapevine. 

The vineyard was beautiful and full of grapes on the brink of harvest. While the expected local grapes Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto were all present, I was surprised to learn they also have Sauvignon Gris in the vineyard. I later learned from winemaker, Gianluca Colombo, that it is one of his favorite wines and he was excited to see how it would perform there.

The winery was established in 2013 in the heart of the Barolo area. Their vineyard practives are focused on sustainable and organic grape growing. Réva is dedicated to maintaining a healthy plant diversity in and around the vineyard with more than 130 varieties of herbs and grasses growing. They choose to use only certified organic fertilizers. While in the winery, they work exclusively with native yeasts and limit the use of sulphur as much as possible. 

The gourmet restaurant, FRE, is managed by Chef Paolo Meneguz, who has honed his skills in multiple Michelin rated restaurants in Europe. I enjoyed an abbreviated tasting menu for lunch featuring classic Piedmontese dishes. 

Meals can be ordered a la carte or tasting menus from 4-10 courses are also an option. The kitchen can be viewed through glass doors when sitting at the Friend’s Table which is where Gaia, Colombo, and I ate.

We started with the 50/50 Sauvignon Gris and Sauvignon Blanc which is labeled as Langhe DOC Grey 2017. There are only 6,000 bottles produced. It was deliciously drinkable and fresh with citrus, tropical notes and hints of sage. Gaia shared that the labels were inspired by the owner’s admiration for the work of Petr Nikl, a Czech artist.

Lunch started with the Dolcetto d’Alba 2017 which was fresh, fruity, and delicious. The chef paired it with a Russian salad which is similar to potato salad. I had this three times while in Piemonte, this was my favorite rendition. 

Next up was the Barbera d’Alba Superiore 2016, this dry red had sweet, ripe raspberry aromas and flavors with a fresh, spicy finish and was served with carne cruda all’albese, also known as steak tartare made from the local beef.

The Nebbiolo d’Alba 2016 came next. This everyday Nebbiolo was very approachable and full of red rose aromas. It was served with a freshly made, hand cut pasta called Tajarin which is yellow colored due to the egg yolk used. It was topped with a meat sauce.

While we were enjoying this wine, Gaia also poured the Barolo 2014 which is sourced from multiple vineyard areas. This Barolo Classico was approachable and delightful with the pasta. Full of floral and herbaceous notes over ripe berry flavors. It was full bodied and surprisingly soft, yet still with noticeable tannins.

For the lunch finale, I was served Barolo Ravera 2013, this fresh, lively, and elegant red stole the show with floral notes, mixed berry flavors, and hints of tobacco with velvety tannins. This wine comes from the Ravera, a single vineyard in Novello. When I returned to Houston, I found it at both Cru and Vinology.

After lunch, we headed into the winery where Daniele Gaia pulled tank samples of both the Sauvignon Gris and the Barbera. Even at this early state, it would appear that 2018 will be an excellent year for both.

Hotel guests can enjoy the spa and the 9 hole Executive Pitch and Putt course with their stay. The infinity pool and hot tub provide the perfect place to relax after a day of wine tasting while the terrace is the perfect place to relax with friends over a glass of wine. 
The winery is tourist friendly for day trippers as well. While I just visited here for a tour and tasting, I would definitely like to stay at this 12 room boutique hotel the next time I visit Piedmont. 

All of the wines are highly recommended.