Subtle wood ageing with apple, pear, lime and peach aromas
Hurry, only 2 left.
- Robert Parker: 93/100
- Peñín: 92/100
- Tim Atkin: 90/100
This delicious Viura – of which only 4,133 bottles have been made – is lemon in colour with primary fruit aromas of apple, pear, lime and peach. Some secondary aromas are present from the ageing for one year in large oak barrels on the lees. It has a medium palate, acidity and alcohol with a persistent finish.
More about Laventura Viura
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, he 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.
This wine is made from Viura grapes which 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.
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 vineyards are traditional Riojan vineyards, which means they were planted many years ago – most more than 70 years ago in fact – often on quite steep, hard to access plots which makes it tricky to use machines, so the land is usually worked manually and with mules.
The focus in the vineyard is very much on sustainable agriculture, which means no herbicides or pesticides and clever use of plant cover which keeps erosion to a minimum and helps boost the organic matter in the soil.
Inside the winery, the wine is fermented in large, old 600-litre French oak foudres (large barrels) and then aged for one year on the lees in large oak barrels, to ensure the wine takes on all the characteristics of the grape before being bottled.