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La Nave Tinto

La Nave Tinto

Three different grape varieties from diverse vineyard plots which showcase Rioja’s blending tradition.

DOCa Rioja

Medium red in colour with primary fruit aromas of red cherry, plum, and blackcurrant. A medium palate with medium acidity and alcohol. Well balanced with lots of fruit and soft tannins.

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Technical details

  • Producer: MacRobert & Canals
  • Region: DOCa Rioja
  • Vintage: 2020
  • ABV: 13.5%
  • Grapes: Garnacha, Tempranillo, Mazuelo

Food pairings

This wine will go well with:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb

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

Tempranillo is Spain’s most planted red grape variety, covering over 202,000 hectares - about one-fifth of all Spain’s vineyards. The name Tempranillo comes from the Spanish word temprano, which means "early". That’s because Tempranillo ripens early and has a shorter growing cycle than many other grapes.

Wines made from Tempranillo don’t tend to be too high in alcohol, which makes them relatively easy to drink and to pair with different foods. Tempranillo often have aromas like strawberries and other red fruits, and you can detect spice, leather and tobacco leaves. But the end result is as much down to the skill of the winemaker as it is to the grape variety itself.

Graciano is perhaps best known as ¨Rioja´s third grape¨ after Tempranillo and Garnacha. In Rioja, it used to be more widely grown but low yields meant it fell into disfavour for a while but is now staging a comeback. It was traditionally used in blends where producers appreciate the natural freshness it brings to the wines, but in recent years a few producers in Rioja and Navarra, for example, have begun making single varietal wines with Graciano. It is often described as a very perfumed variety, with an aromatic nose of spice, mature red fruit and menthol notes. It tends to give fresh, elegant wines which are quite full in the mouth and with a long finish.

Mazuelo (aka Cariñena) was once the dominant grape variety in much of Spain, as well as southern France. In fact, its popularity in areas like Languedoc-Rousillon made it France’s most planted grape variety at one point in the 20th century before it fell out of favour. These days it has staged a bit of a comeback, and in Spain you’ll find the variety in Rioja, Aragon and Catalunya. In Rioja, Mazuelo is valued because its high tannins and acidity make it a good partner for Tempranillo-based wines designed to be aged for a few years before being drunk.

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

The grapes from different vineyard plots across Rioja are destemmed and the berries sorted by hand before being fermented together in concrete tanks for 10 days. The wine is pumped over once a day during fermentation to ensure homogeneity and to monitor progress. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is racked off and left to stabilize naturally in concrete tanks for a minimum of 6 months before bottling.

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