Rioja ‘n’ Roll: Laventura from Bryan MacRobert

Feb 6, 2024 | All, International wines | 0 comments

‘If you like the white wines of Sadie Family and Alheit Vineyards, these offer great nuanced differences at value prices.’ 

– James Pietersen

Every so often we pull the cork on a wine that flies below the radar and we’re astonished by its deft craftmanship. We experienced this recently with Bryan MacRobert’s Laventura wines. Alongside Rioja ’n’ Roll Young Guns Artuke and Alonso & Pedrajo, South African-born Bryan is shaking things up in the Spanish wine capital with his delicious, modern take on white Rioja – ideal for tapas-style dining.

Having cut his teeth at Sadie Family Wines and then Terroir al Límit in Priorat, Bryan’s aim is to showcase the best varietal and terroir expressions from old dryland-farmed bush vines. 2021 was a low-yielding vintage because of hail storms, but it’s considered excellent in quality and in line with Rioja’s greatest vintages. The Laventura Viura 2021 is delicate and delineated, offering complex orchard and stone fruit with a fine salinity that’s often seen in SA’s top-end wines. This will excite the Chenin Blanc lover!

The skin macerated (one week only) Malvasia 2021 is aromatic, textural and so complex. From a 69-year-old vineyard, it exudes notes of orange blossom, dried herbs, quince and grapefruit. Lastly, for only R199, La Nave Blanco 2020 is an intriguing blend of 65% Viura and 35% Garnacha Blanca. Matured in concrete, it’s fresh fruited and complemented by subtle brioche and white florals. This is the perfect midweek white.

Explore the full range of Laventura wines.

Tasting Notes:

Laventura Viura 2021

‘A perennial favourite of mine for its diversity of food pairing. The Viura 2021 is a beautiful expression of the variety. A bouquet of white flowers opens up to freshly sliced ripe green apple, pear skin and white nectarine. The palate shows good concentration with exotic spice on the finish.’ – Kenny Nassen, January 2024

Laventura Malvasia 2021

‘South African Bryan MacRobert uses grapes from the high part of a 1955 vineyard in Leza to produce this Malvasía Blanca, fermenting the result on skins for a week before ageing in a concrete egg. Citrus, quince and orange peel flavours are complemented by a nip of tannin.’ – Tim Atkin MW, Rioja Report 2023, 91/100

Laventura La Nave Blanco 2020

‘The new entry-level white 2020 La Nave Blanco is fruit-driven, young, fresh and tender, reminiscent of green almonds and white flowers. It mixes grapes and zones, 65% Viura and 35% Garnacha Blanca. It’s medium-bodied, with 13% alcohol and a pH of 3.5, so with a soft mouthfeel and a drinkable profile. It fermented with natural yeasts and matured in concrete with the lees.’ – Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, 90/100

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