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2015 Laventura "Lanave" Rioja

SKU #1330467 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2015 Lanave is a new 50/50 blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo, where the Garnacha from Rioja Baja should provide red fruit and the Tempranillo from Rioja Alavesa gives structure. It fermented in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and two daily punch-downs of the cap. The Garnacha stayed in concrete, while the Tempranillo was transferred to 500-liter oak barrels, where it polished its tannins for 12 months. It has some lactic aromas, ripe berries and some spicy notes that get focused in a few minutes in the glass. The lactic note goes away and the wine clears up, showing transparent, fruit-driven and clean. The palate is elegant and fresh, with very fine tannins and very tasty, focused flavors. Delicious! Very good value too. 5,000 bottles were filled in December 2016. (LG) Inner quote mark (2/2018)

K&L Notes

A 50-50 blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha, with great structure, fruit and minerality, particularly for a sub-$15 bottle of red. 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.

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Price: $14.99
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Product Reviews:

By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/11/2018 | Send Email
Brian MacRobert came to Rioja from South Africa, where he was raised, and had already established his name as a fine winemaker. In 2013, the Rioja venture MacRobert and Canals was established, with a focus on producing wines with a modern bent and a grounded, traditional foundation. The 2015 Lanave Rioja is an even blend of hand harvested Grenache and Tempranillo, and is vinified in open top fermenters, concrete, and finished in oak. The result is a medium bodied Rioja with very expressive ripe fruit and floral aromas of strawberry, violet leaf and wild berries, and a wonderfully persistent limestone mineral component that gives this wine lift and zest.

By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/5/2018 | Send Email
I love the way that Bryan MacRobert does Rioja. It's a new take on this area, that certainly rocks the boat for some of us. I'd advise putting the concept of "Rioja" entirely out of your mind when you try this wine, and taste it for what it is: a clean and honest expression of Grenache and Tempranillo grown in a long-proven region. One of the more surprising elements that jumps out in this wine is the raw spice and earthy umami notes that I find particularly food friendly.

By: Ivan Diaz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/8/2018 | Send Email
A blend of 50% Tempranillo and 50% Garnacha, the Lanave is a fresh and fun entry-level bottling that showcases the beautiful balance that these two varietals can achieve. With the Tempranillo bringing the fuller, darker aspects - black cherries, licorice, tree bark - and the Garnacha cutting it with higher-toned strawberry, green herbs, and juicy acidity.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/7/2018 | Send Email
This new breed Rioja opened my eyes to the possibilities of enjoying a completely different style of one of my most loved regions. The first wave of new Rioja was all about expensive new French cooperage, high alcohol and big points from the critics... And this wine could not be any different. Although the Laventura seems to rebel against the big earth and oxidative orange peel flavors of the old school, it also rejects the heat and over polish of those first wave rebels. This is pure, clean, red fruited Rioja, that seems like it could almost be poured as a substitute for Pinot Noir! A must try for any fan of Rioja!
Top Value!

By: Robert Cash | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/6/2018 | Send Email
A simply delicious new expression of Rioja! Consisting of equal parts Grenache and Tempranillo, this wine offers beautiful aromas of cherry, blackberries along with hints of strawberry. It follows on the palate with soft, balanced tannins and a lively bright minerality. Medium body. The oak is there, but instead of being in the forefront it is well integrated into the structure. Very well made! A tasty value!

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/30/2018 | Send Email
A blend of 50% Tempranillo and 50% Garnacha from trusted vineyard sources, this is Rioja with the Bryan MacDonald treatment! Turns out that ends up delivering you an amazingly fresh, red fruited wine with great cut, purity and poise. This tastes like no other young Rioja I have ever tried, and yet even as a Rioja fanatic (ok - at times, purist) I want more. How does Bryan Mac D do it? While it obviously starts in the vineyard with terrific sources, I also think that Bryan approaches wine making rather differently from most of his colleagues in Rioja. The result is a wine that you must try, regardless of whether or not Rioja is your thing. Super tasty and interesting wine, a real eye opener!

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