Quinta do Javali is a family-owned farm spanning 18 hectares (44 acres) along the left bank of the Douro River. The farm has a winemaking tradition dating back to the 17th century and has been in the Mendes family since 1982. The estate is dedicated to the cultivation of indigenous Duoro grape varieties, with two branches of wine production.
While the older generation typically preferred denser and more powerful wines, certainly with more alcohol, in recent years, António Mendes has tasted the future, so to speak. The family has made significant investments in several of the Quinta’s vineyards to convert them to fully organic and biodynamic farming (horse plowed and wild pig (Javali) tilled), making Javali the only biodynamic producer in the valley. His intention here is to signify that the Douro, too, can produce incredible wines of terroir that are lighter and fresher, and this pursuit has led him to vinify subplots and varieties separately, and even to use cement eggs made from powdered schist dug directly from the vineyards.
“Crazy Javali” Tinto is part of a project that began with Antonio Jr.’s desire to make wines that have an even more “crazy” approach to the Douro Valley. Antonio Sr. did not want to make this brand, as the estate already had 25-plus different labels, so he gave Antonio Jr. full autonomy to create this brand, not really believing that his son would make it happen. But with the help of the estate winemaker and some friends, he did.
The recipe for “Crazy Javali” Tinto is quite complex, with more than 20 indigenous varieties that come from the youngest vines (more than 65 years old) and a mix of leftover skins and grapes from the oldest vines (more than 85 years old). Whole cluster fermentation, some carbonic maceration, everything happens in cement tanks—the result is a bright, vibrant, elegant wine that shows the lightness and complexity that can be achieved in the Douro Valley.
Quinta do Javali
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