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La Nave Blanco

La Nave Blanco

A dry white blend from diverse vineyard plots which showcases Rioja’s blending tradition.

DOCa Rioja

The wine is lemon green in colour with primary aromas of lime, pear, melon and peach. It is dry with a medium palate, acidity and alcohol. Well balanced, it pairs well with a range of different food.

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Technical details

  • Producer: MacRobert & Canals
  • Region: DOCa Rioja
  • Vintage: 2022
  • ABV: 12%
  • Grapes: Viura, Garnacha Blanca

Food pairings

This wine will go well with:

  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Asian Food
  • Soups

Who makes it

MacRobert & Canals is a small, family-run winery with its cellar in Logroño and vineyards scattered across the region. The winemaking is handled by young South African Bryan MacRobert who was born in Cape Town, grew up in a winemaking family in Swartland, and studied Viticulture and Enology at the University of Stellenbosch.

Now firmly established in Rioja, Bryan is part of the new generation of winemakers in the region who are moving away from barrel-ageing as the defining characteristic of their wines, and instead looking to make fresher, more elegant wines which better reflect the essence of the traditional grapes grown in the region. In his own words, he “prioritises the vineyard over the cellar” and strives to make high quality wines with a strong sense of place that really showcase the diversity of soils, climates, vineyards and grape varieties that exist within Rioja.

The grapes

The Viura grapes are selected from a variety of low-yielding, dry-farmed old vines. Old vines are important because as vines get older, they become less fertile. So, you have more plant and less production, resulting in better quality fruit.

Within Rioja, Viura is pretty popular. In fact, it was one of the historic varieties which was first permitted when the DO was set up back in the 1920s. Winegrowers liked it because it was quite productive, and it still represents a little over 60% of all white varieties planted in Rioja and is an important part of the region’s exciting experimentation with new white wines.

When you’re tasting Viura, expect to find aromas of white fruit or green melon coupled with floral and sometimes aniseed notes. Older examples can exhibit slightly nuttier characteristics.

Like lots of grapes there’s a bit of debate about where Garnacha Blanca (white Garnacha) comes from genetically speaking, though the consensus seems to be that is it some sort of mutation of the red Garnacha grape. Like its red equivalent, it tends to take on the character of the terroir where it’s cultivated and it’s especially popular near the Mediterranean, especially Terra Alta in southern Catalunya, and other areas of north-east Spain.

In terms of flavours, wines made with white Garnacha tend to have lots of white fruit and Mediterranean herb flavours. They can have an appealing minerality and, over time, take on stone fruit & petrol notes. And if it’s been oak aged you’ll often find lovely baked apple and bready flavours.

Where it's made

Rioja is one of Spain’s best known and best-loved wine regions and is on a par with renowned wine-producing regions like Bordeaux and Burgundy in France, or Barolo in northern Italy.

Sitting in the north of Spain, Rioja runs about 100 km from West to East and 40 km North to South, centred around the city of Logroño. The Ebro river runs through it from West to East. Rioja has just over 66,000 hectares of vineyards, which is about 7% of the Spanish total. In that area you'll find about 14,800 farmers who grow grapes which they then sell on to about 574 actual wine producers.

Traditionally, winemaking in Rioja has put a big focus on blending – mixing together grapes grown in different zones of the region to achieve balanced wines. But in recent years, Riojan producers are lobbying for changes to the rules to allow wine labels to include more specific references to where within Rioja the wines actually come from. It’s a move towards the more terroir-focused approach, used in lots of the other great wine regions of the world.

How it's made

Once harvested, the grapes are pressed as whole bunches and the must allowed to cool and settle naturally for 48 hours. The clear must is then racked off into concrete tanks where it undergoes alcoholic fermentation and ages on the gross lees for three months. Finally, the wine is racked off again and allowed to rest on its fine lees for another three months before bottling.

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