- Penedès, Valencia, Spain
We’ve known Javier Revert for many years as the young, enthusiastic, traditionalist winemaker at Celler del Roure. Many of the technical issues surrounding the evolution of the wines here were worked out by Javi, whose vision for what D.O. Valencia can become closely matches Pablo Calatayud’s. Indigenous varieties and yeasts, whole clusters, stone lagars, and aging in amphorae were made easy because all these things were present at this traditional estate. Javi was the ideal person to make the changes at Celler del Roure, as he is descended from generations of farmer-winemakers from the village of Font de la Figuera located on the far southwestern edge of the DO.
While visiting his family in 2014, he mentioned his work in recovering old vines of indigenous varieties for Celler del Roure. His grandfather mentioned that just such a vineyard existed near the village – one that Javi’s great-grandfather had planted. Named Pla del Micalet, this terraced site is surrounded by forest and scrubland at an elevation of 710-730m with poor and chalky soils, resembling the famed albariza of Jerez. Established long before the craze for foreign varieties or productive clones destroyed much of the viticultural heritage of the DO, this site was planted higgly-piggly with white varieties best suited to the warm, dry Mediterranean climate – Tortosí, Trepadell, Malvasía, Merseguera, and Verdil. Its rediscovery was the inspiration for the creation of Javi’s personal project, his own estate focused solely on vineyards around his hometown, featuring heritage varieties and wines made with minimal intervention. Apparently, sometimes you can come home.
Now totaling about 6 hectares, Javi has assembled a group of primarily north-facing sites on sandy, chalky soils. He has also acquired some sites where he can plant additional vines but only uses selection massale for these new plantings. In addition to the white varieties present in Pla de Micalet, Javi farms Bonicaire (Trepat), Monastrell, and Arcos – all with an average age of 50 years old. Farming is organic but not currently certified, and vineyard work is manual, including harvest. Fermentations are with indigenous yeasts and entirely in neutral vessels – seasoned French oak, tank, demi-john, or amphora. The reds have varying amounts of whole clusters depending on the vintage and variety.
While he has plans to grow the estate modestly, he intends to retain a sense of place in each of his wines. Micalet and Simeta are single-vineyard wines, while Sensal represents his village wine. He continues to search for new sites of indigenous varieties around his village. He makes experimental cuvées to better understand all the facets of each variety and parcel, and he has been replanting Garnacha in several sites he owns. This restlessness to discover the potential of a long-neglected corner of Spain is why we are excited and proud to represent Javier Revert. It cannot be put more succinctly than Luis Gutiérrez, Javi is, “definitely a new name to follow.”