2014 Laventura Rioja (Previously $20) SKU #1278690

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RP 90
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Professional Reviews

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)

Staff Reviews

  • Dulcinea Gonzalez
    By: Dulcinea Gonzalez
    K&L Staff Member
    From the Rioja 'n' Roll school of terroir-driven winemaking is this lovely, super drinkable Rioja. This is showing nice layers with plenty of crunchy red fruit, and juicy ripe notes of balsamic strawberries, good acidity and minerality. This is drinking beautifully right now, but definitely has some aging potential. Super recommended!
  • Heather Vander Wall
    By: Heather Vander Wall
    K&L Staff Member
    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.
  • Joe Manekin
    By: Joe Manekin
    K&L Staff Member
    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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