Alegre y Valgañón
It is during a trip in Rioja last winter that we stopped by Oscar and Eva’s cellar. We were immediately struck by the natural flow of the wines on the palate. Very convinced by this energetic couple, re-inventing the wine of this traditional region, it will be, without a doubt, the new bodega to follow in Rioja.
(Oscar) Alegre y (Eva) Valgañón, a dynamic husband and wife team are beginning to cause quite a stir throughout the region. Although they have only been making wine since the 2012 vintage, both their families are steeped in the traditions of Rioja, owning various vineyards from which Oscar and Eva can now source their grapes. Furthermore, these plots lie in excellent sites around the Obarenes Mountains. Agreed, not quite as well-known as, say, the hills of Corton, Hermitage, and those of the Langhe, but in Rioja terms, long revered by the province’s growers. Trust us! In the cellar, Oscar and Eva want their creations to exhibit more of the fruit, and its associated ‘terroir’: so, they use only French timber, a mix of ‘barriques’ (225 litres) and ‘demi-muids’ (600), with none of it new. Crucial. The wood influence is lessened significantly, thereby allowing the wines to speak clearly for themselves. It also means that the qualifications of ‘Crianza’ and ‘Reserva’ have to go out the window, as there’s no compliance with the DOC regulations.