2014 Laventura Rioja

SKU #1278690 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 There must be some 10% Garnacha (from Tudelilla on stony soils) and some 5% Mazuelo in the second vintage of the red, so they decided to label the wine 2014 Laventura, as it was not really a varietal Tempranillo. The Tempranillo comes from Laguardia and Mazuelo from San Vicente, the old 'traditional' Rioja blend of the three subzones. It started fermenting with some full clusters in open bins and finished in 600-liter barrels, where it matured until bottling. As I saw with the whites, 2014 seems to be riper, rounder and more approachable, very tasty and accessible. Delicious. 5,000 bottles. (LG)  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

A new K&L Direct Import! Native South African Bryan MacRobert grew up in a farming family, and has been quietly making some of that country's best value wines. He fell in love with a girl from Rioja as well as the region's wines (we forget in which order) but quickly became fascinated with the inimitable terroirs and endless potential for wines in the region. A proponent not only of organic viticulture, but also a strong believer in the importance of legacy organically cultivated vines on top quality sites, Bryan is picky about where he grows and sources vines. The winemaking is no frills but clearly well thought out and opinionated; think lots of smaller cement vats and wood in sizes greater than 225l barriques. He's a fan of Stockinger cooperage. Particularly with the whites, these are wines where transparency, minerality and acidity drive the style. His red features organically farmed Rioja Alavesa Tempranillo with some Rioja Baja Garnacha and Rioja Alta Mazuelo (from San Vicente) blended in as well. It is a tense and taut style, very mineral, yet not at all weighed down by oak. Some whole clusters are used. What some may see as a bit strict and atypical, others such as myself see as a potential new way forward for reds in this region. Either way, this is a very well made, wholly original take on red Rioja. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)

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By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/9/2016 | Send Email
This is a serious little bottle of Rioja for the price! Nor is it much in the classic tradition of Rioja. Aged without much oak, and made using whole cluster fermentation, this wine is more reminiscent of a high-end Oregon Pinot Noir, though with more body and character from the Tempranillo grape. The wine is highly intriguing, with great complexity and character, but would probably benefit from a few years in the cellar.

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/9/2016 | Send Email
A blend of Tempranillo with 5% Mazuelo and Garnacha, this is a red Rioja unlike any other I have tried. Grippy cherry fruit flavors are precise, taut, and linear. Winemaker Bryan MacDonald likes to play with stem inclusion, which shows on the structure of this wine. There is not an ounce of fat here, no spicy oak notes (the winemaker prefers thicker stave, larger wooden barrels which are more subtle) and low alcohol (under 13% ABV). A refreshing, original Rioja that is a terrific value and should cellar well in the mid-term. A must try both for Rioja collectors and fans of old world wines.

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Tempranillo

- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.
Country:

Spain

- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.
Sub-Region:

Rioja

Alcohol Content (%): 12.5