About The Producer
Since 2014, the husband-wife team of Oscar Alegre and Eva Valgañón have embraced this even more ancient tradition. By working strictly with tiny lots, they are turning out head-spinning reds and whites that capture the best of their beloved land’s 1,000+ year history. And, their wines informed by this ancestral wisdom, are offering something unique in today’s Rioja landscape.
- Oscar Alegre and Eva Valgañón strive to recapture the magic of an earlier Rioja era – before phylloxera and before the Bordelais arrived.
- Old vineyards in the shadow of the Obarenes Mountains provide fruit from the coolest and freshest part of Rioja, yielding wines with a higher level of refinement and aromatics.
- Like many artisan winemakers in Europe, Alegre y Valganon focus on farming small plots with serious viticulture. They believe in whole bunch fermentations with longer macerations and aging in large, neutral wood.
Traditional/sustainable viticulture is employed, with only organic fertilizers and without herbicides.
Reds are fermented with ~ 25% stems in large wooden vats, and supplemental concrete and steel tanks.
Macerations last roughly 30 days.
The couple employs primarily used French wood, in sizes from barrique to demi-muids to foudre for aging their whites and reds.
Soils: Limetone-rich clay with sand.
Vines: Several vineyards around the village of Fonzaleche, and Sajazarra, and Galbárruri
Elevation: ~560m average
Harvest: By hand in cases
- Oak: 18 months in a mix of used French barrels.
80% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha
The regular 2018 Tinto was produced with a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha from different vineyards, mostly in the villages of Fonzaleche and Sajazarra at 500 to 600 meters in altitude. The grapes were very healthy in 2018, and they had a natural fermentation in concrete, oak and stainless steel, the Garnacha with some stems. It matured in oak vessels of different characteristics for 14 months. I see the effect of the Garnacha very clear in this vintage, as it has some aromatic notes—flowers and red fruit, a touch of iodine and something mineral (think wet stones)—that are common with the Garnacha bottling and also the new single-vineyard Carra Sto Domingo. The palate is medium-bodied, there is some tannin, softened by the Garnacha, and it's juicy and round and finishes with a faint bitter twist. It follows the line of the 2016, perhaps a little fresher/less oxidative. Both this and the Blanco clearly overdeliver. 19,800 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2020.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Product size: 750ml