Javi Revert 'Micalet'
His white wine, Micalet, is from a single vineyard. ‘It’s a vineyard my great grandfather planted in 1948. Half of this vineyard is pe franco [ungrafted, on its own roots], and the other half is with American rootstock. There are six different grapes, all local ones, and they are all mixed together.’ Interestingly, although these six varieties have different cycles, interplanted in the same vineyard their cycles synchronize. Revert harvests in two tranches. ‘First I harvest the pe franco vines, and around ten days later I harvest the vines on American rootstock. The pe franco wines are less vigorous, and the grapes ripen earlier. I harvest all the grapes together. The first time I made wine from this vineyard was in 2015. In 2015 I harvested each variety separately. Then in 2016 I decided to harvest them all together, because I am not looking for varietal expression. It is nice soil, with sandy limestone. When I harvested the grapes separately I got more varietal expression, and from 2016 when I started harvesting all together, I got more terroir expression.’
The winemaking is very simple: Revert presses the grapes directly to barrels and also 54-litre glass demijohns, of which he has around 30. ‘I am using them for all the wines. I like always to have some part in demijohns. For me, they keep the purity of the grapes.’
Revert says that he doesn’t like using stainless steel. ‘I like barrels and terracotta amphorae, but demijohns give something different to barrels and terracotta. It is greater purity. I am in the Mediterranean and whites here are normally quite round and fruity with a lot of flavour. I don’t like these kinds of wines: I prefer more austere wines: more mineral wines. I care more about texture than fruit, and this vineyard is very nice because it is between 730 and 770 m in altitude. Normally the people in my area harvest whites in August. I harvest around 14-24 September, a month later than normal. When the year is warm, like 2017 or 2019, I use fewer demijohns. This is because I made the harvest a bit earlier, to pick the grapes with enough acidity. Then I think I need more barrel, because I need more structure. In colder years like 2016 and 2018, I have more alcohol and I use more demijohns.’
2019 was quite a difficult year for Micalet, with heavy rainfall right in the middle of harvest, on 14th September. ‘I harvested the ungrafted half of the plot the day before the rain. Then I waited until 24 September to harvest the second half. It is not the best year, but I like Micalet, because each vintage is different but it always has the same character. Mineral, chalky, white stones.’
Javi Revert Micalet 2019 Valencia, Spain
12.5% alcohol. This is interesting. It’s a blend of different varieties. One lot is a field blend, and then there are named varieties – Trepadell, Malvasía, Merseguera and Verdil. The wine is fermented in demijohns and old barrels. This is fresh, supple and quite mineral with nice fine spiciness framing the bright citrus and pear fruit. There’s a good focus here, with precise citrus fruit flavours dominating. The acidity is keen but not intrusive. This wine has a lovely harmony: it’s really compelling, with good concentration allied to delicacy. 94/100