Laventura Rioja Viura 2018
Bryan MacRobert hails from South Africa, where he was assistant winemaker to renowned Swartland producer Eben Sadie before making his own range of wines. He and his Spanish wife Clara, however, now live in Logroño, where he made his first vintage of Laventura in 2013. One of a new breed of winemakers putting more emphasis on terroir and fresher, elegant wines in a region where the grand bodega and barrels still rule, Bryan's wines are already causing quite a stir and are some of the most thrilling bottles to come out of this traditional region in many a year.
His Rioja Blanco is astoundingly good. An old-vine (80+ years) field blend of mostly Viura, but including some rare Calagraño, a grape now banned in Rioja unless the vines were planted before 1970. Fermented naturally in oak barrel, then aged for a year in old barrels ranging from 500 to 2,500 litres. It is a world away from 'traditional' oxidative or oaky Rioja whites. Floral, with fruit flavours like pear and white peach, biscuity richness on mid-palate then soaring, refreshing acidity to finish. A stunning, refreshing take on white Rioja wines.